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Burns seeks Scottish sporting history against Di Rocco, Mosley meets Avanesyan

| 28.05.2016

Lee Gormley | May 27, 2016

Ricky Burns v Michele Di Rocco

  • Vacant WBA light-welterweight title fight
  • Saturday, May 28th
  • Scheduled for: 22:00 BST
  • SSE Hydro, Glasgow
  • Live on Sky Sports 1

Burns battling for Scottish sporting history

Glasgow’s Ricky Burns will attempt to make boxing history this Saturday night on home soil when contesting Italian Michele Di Rocco for the vacant WBA light-welterweight title, as he aims to become the first ever Scottish three-time world champion.

Ricky Burns v Michele Di Rocco Press Conference - SECC

Scotland has a rich history of producing elite fighters, including Benny Lynch, Ken Buchanan and Jim Watt, but none have ever reigned in three weight divisions, though that’s something that could come to an end this weekend when Burns (39-5-1, 13 KOs) takes to the SSE Hydro ring in front of 13k home supporters.

The 33-year-old has produced many memorable performances in his native homeland before, when overcoming all of Rocky Martinez, Kevin Mitchell and Jose Gonzalez on glory Glasgow nights, and he is 4/1 with Coral to record a third successive knockout victory over Di Rocco (40-1-1, 18 KOs) to clinch sporting history.

‘Rickster’ looks to down ‘the King’

Scotland’s two-division world champion ‘Rickstar’ downed Prince Ofotsu and Josh King last year, bouncing back from a points loss to Omar Figueroa in May, having also tasted defeat to Dejan Zlaticanin and taking now WBO light-welterweight champion Terence Crawford the distance before being outpointed in 2014.

Though, in his sixth world title fight on Scottish turf, Burns will come up against ‘the King’ from Foligno, with the Italian challenger having previously proved he is a capable operator at European level, and the visiting contender is 9/4 to claim his maiden world title.

Ricky Burns v Michele Di Rocco Press Conference - SECC

Home favourite Burns will be fighting in Scotland for the first time since losing to Zlaticanin in June 2014 but is looking forward to a successful return, and is confident of writing himself into the history books.

“It’s always good to come home,” stated the Glaswegian. “I’ve been on the road for the last couple of years fighting down in England a lot and over in Texas as well.”

“I need to make sure I go out there and win…”

Burns is a former WBO super-featherweight and lightweight title holder and earlier clinched the WBO inter-continental 130-pounds strap in November when stopping King in 11 rounds, after losing three of his previous four outings.

Boxing - KC Lightstream Stadium

“I know this is a big opportunity for me,” added Burns, who is odds-on 4/6 to outpoint a 34-year-old who has lost only once in 42 bouts.

“You’re not going to get a bigger fight than a third world title at a third weight, so I need to make sure I go out there and win.

“We know it’s going to be a hard fight but it’s a winnable fight for me. But I’m just treating it as any other fight. If I win, only then will I sit down and think what an achievement it is.”

Boxing - Braehead Arena

As he takes to the SSE Hydro ring on Saturday night, Burns will have the backing of a nation, when he looks to also join Bob Fitzsimmons and Duke McKenzie as the only Britons to win world titles in three different divisions on what could be another memorable night in Scotland.

Conor Benn will star on the undercard in Glasgow, as he continues his charge in the professional ranks, and he is 1/100 to overcome Luke Keleher, while Scott Cardle (1/100 to win), John Ryder (1/100) and Tyrone Nurse (4/11) also feature.

Shane Mosley v David Avanesyan

  • WBA interim welterweight title fight
  • Sunday, May 29th
  • Scheduled for: 04:00 BST
  • Gila River Arena Glendale, Arizona
  • Live on BoxNation

‘Sugar’ Shane seeks another world title shot

Having already achieved it all in boxing, Shane Mosley is on the trail of further glory when he collides with David Avanesyan this weekend for the WBA interim welterweight title, with the winner earning a crack at either Shawn Porter or Keith Thurman later this year.

Mosley Avanesyan Boxing

Mosley (49-9-1, 41 KOs) is a three-division world champion, winning titles at lightweight, welterweight and light-middleweight, and previously reigned for some time as the pound-for-pound number one in his illustrious career.

The now 44-year-old has also gone toe-to-toe with the sport’s biggest names, including Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Ricardo Mayorga and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, but is hoping to return to the top once again and is 13/8 to overcome Avanesyan (21-1-1, 11 KOs).

Mosley seeks another world title

Mosley’s Russian opponent is a little known fighter and will be defending the interim strap for the first time, as well as making his maiden appearance in America and, after clinching the belt by ninth-round KO of journeyman Charlie Navarro in November, he is the odds-on 4/9 favourite.

Mosley Avanesyan Boxing

Veteran fighter ‘Sugar’ Shane has outlined his intentions of destroying Avanesyan in the early hours of Sunday morning, with the prize for victory being a world title shot at the winner of Thurman versus Porter on June 25th.

“I plan to put on a clinic,” Mosley said. “I’m not just going to win. I’m going to annihilate him. In 2009 they said I was done but they were wrong.

“I’m glad people know this is a real competitive fight. It will be a challenge, but when I win, the world will know.”

Mosley has come out of retirement twice in his long-standing career but a loss in Arizona could see his latest world title attempts completely derailed, though under the guidance of the legendary Roberto Duran, he will aim to maintain on course for another shot at glory in 2016.


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Coral’s top tip: Back Ricky Burns to stop Michele Di Rocco on Saturday night and become a three-time world champion at 4/1.

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Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.