First Scottish three weight world champion and only the third Brit to achieve the historic feat.
Burns night in Scotland is celebrated in January, when Ricky Burns fights it’s always an extra special Burns celebration and on Saturday night in Glasgow the fans were celebrating with the Coatbridge hero who stopped Italian Michele Di Rocco to become Scotland’s first ever three-weight world champion. watch the fight above.
Former WBO super-featherweight and lightweight world champion Burn’s also became just the third British boxer to become a three weight world champion to join Bob Fitzsimmons and Duke McKenzie as the only others to ever do it.
Burns (40-5-1-KO13) was the superior boxer and made his experience and ring craft tell early on as he controlled the fight and his opponent behind his jab, frustrating and outworking the wild Italian before stopping him in the eighth round.
It is a great turnaround for Burns who’s career looked in tatters after he was defeated by Dejan Zlaticanin after losing his lightweight title to the super-talented Terence Crawford in 2014. On top of that, Burns was declared bankrupt. He changed trainers moved to London to try and revitalise his career with Matchroom Promotions and it is good to see this good guy of British boxing back at the top.
Burns boxed very well, and a smiling Di Rocco (40-1-1, 18KOs) had no answer to the Scots jab and accurate right hand that knocked his head back on numerous occasions. Despite only having one loss on his record before this, Di Rocco was not in the same class as Burns and it shown from early on.
‘Rickster’ almost couldn’t miss his game opponent with right hands, even when Di Rocco managed to land clean with a right in the 5th, it did not deter Burns from his game plan and when he landed two pole like right hands flush in the 6th that sent the Italian’s head flying back, the writing looked to soon be on the cards and it was..
In the 8th Burns turned the screw and powered in more big rights and Di Rocco fell to the canvas. Bravely he managed to beat referee Terry O’Connor’s count, but the official waved it off as his corner were posed to throw in the towel.
A delighted Burns spoke after the fight on his history making feat but hinted he is ready to write a few more chapters to his story before ending his exciting career. Looking forward to some big fights ahead for him Burns said. “Everything we worked on in the gym worked from the very start, I couldn’t believe how easy it was.
“I think this is my 46th fight, I feel like I’ve been fighting forever. I was 12 when I started, thanks to everyone who helped me through the years to get here. I don’t know what to say.” added an emotional champion.
“The game plan that we set out worked, I could not miss him. I did not even have to get into second gear. I’m just over the moon.
Burns joins a list of Scottish boxing greats now and can be mentioned in the same breath as legends such as Benny Lynch, Walter McGowan, Jackie Paterson, Ken Buchanan and Jim Watt, after this victory and he now deserves some big fights.
“I’m going on holiday next week but I’ll be chasing my team because there are some big fights out there for me now.”
Well done Ricky Burns!