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Super-featherweight Ricky Burns retains WBO title

Ricky Burns
Burns won the belt from Roman Martinez in 2010

Ricky Burns has successfully defended his WBO super-featherweight title against challenger Joseph Laryea.

Laryea retired with a broken knuckle at the end of the seventh round of a bruising contest at the Braehead Arena.

The 27-year-old champion had appeared to be ahead in the fight before the Ghanaian retired.

Earlier British super-middleweight champion James DeGale, a late addition to the bill, beat veteran Frenchman Alpay Kobal in a fifth round stoppage.

For Burns, however, Laryea's retirement was something of an anti-climax to a contest the Coatbridge fighter had been confident of winning.

Laryea had convincingly beaten South Queensferry boxer Paul Appleby at the same venue in December but as Burns emerged from the tunnel he looked focused and ready for action.

Much had been made of Laryea's ram-rod straight jab, which was on display in an explosive opening against Burns.

Burns dreams of 'the Rocky belt'

But the champion, who was making his second defence of the title, landed with some decent punches of his own including a terrific body shot in round two.

The challenger, who occasionally swung wildly and erratically, kept coming forward but as Burns started to mix up his combinations he was always a little too quick for Laryea.

The Scotsman looked to be ahead by round six and a left hook in the seventh had his fans on their feet.

Laryea appeared to signal that he was in pain, and after an excitable exchange with his corner, it was announced that he would not be coming back out, leaving Burns to soak up the acclaim of his supporters.

Burns is now set for a unification fight with South Africa's IBF champion Mzonke Fana in the summer.

DeGale, the 2008 Olympic champion, enjoyed complete control in his contest with Alpay, landing a series of left hooks and uppercuts from the opening bell.

DeGale takes on Kobal
DeGale in action against Alpay Kobal on Saturday

Kobal's face marked up swiftly but DeGale dropped his guard in the third round and was caught with a left hook which stung him back into action.

One minute and 37 seconds into the fifth round referee Vic Loughlin decided Kobal was in no position to defend himself and stopped the contest.

South Queensferry super-featherweight Appleby, who lost to Laryea in December, returned to winning ways against Yousef Al Hamidi, winning on points 60-54.

Stephen Simmons, the 2010 Commonwealth Bronze medallist from Edinburgh, began his professional career at cruiser weight with a second-round stoppage of Battersea's Nick Okoth.

see also
Burns looks to unify world titles
13 Mar 11 |  Boxing
Burns confident of title defence
11 Mar 11 |  Scotland
Burns plays down best Scot label
08 Mar 11 |  Boxing
Burns to take on Laryea in March
20 Jan 11 |  Boxing
DeGale on Burns world title bill
08 Mar 11 |  Boxing
Burns fight unrealistic for Walsh
01 Mar 11 |  Boxing

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