The world champion will be in with a challenger who has nothing to lose and if the Appleby victory is anything to go by, could prove to be an awkward puzzle to solve for Burns. The Coatbridge boxer is possibly a win away from a world title unification fight against South Africa’s IBF belt holder Mzonke Fana, which is being talked about for some time in the summer and Burns isn’t expected to let that opportunity slip him by, although he will not be taking Laryea lightly.
Burns though was totally unfazed by Laryea’s attempts to provoke him and came away from the pre fight meeting more confident. Seeing a chink in Laryea, Burns believing his challenger to be nervous going into the biggest fight of his life, which will be before a massive partisan crowd.
The Scot had also been preparing for a taller fighter, believing Laryea would have a significant height advantage over him. But, in the flesh yesterday, Burns had no trouble making eye contact with the Ghanaian
“I actually thought he was a lot taller than he is,” revealed Burns.
“We’ve been bringing in sparring partners who are six feet tall to prepare. But this is the first time I’ve met Joseph face to face. It was good to get a look at him and size him up. I think I’ve got his card marked.”
“Joseph did look a bit nervous when we were standing face to face,” added Burns. “The gestures don’t worry me at all. I’ve seen it all before. Once we get in the ring, none of that is going to matter.
“Maybe he’s trying to intimidate me a wee bit, but that’s not going to happen. I’ve got the utmost respect for all my opponents, including Joseph. I’m the first to shake their hand when we meet.
“Martinez did it too, putting his hand across his throat. I just gave him a wee smile, as if to say, ‘We’ll see what happens in the ring’.”