10th December 2012
Ricky Burns has been dealt the bad news that Saturday’s opponent Jose Ocampo has withdrawn from their WBO lightweight title fight, scheduled for the ExCel London, leaving Burns‘ appearance on the brink of being cancelled.
The reason for Ocampo’s withdrawal is because sadly his trainer has died in the run up to the fight. Ocampo had already been Burns’ replacement opponent after Commonwealth champion Liam Walsh was forced to pull out of a fight with the Coatsbridge champion when he was injured in a car accident last month.
The WBO champion had drafted in stylish Manchester southpaw, English and Prizefighter champion Terry Flanagan to his Scottish training camp to prepare for Ocampo and will hope any third choice opponent would be southpaw, but at this stage he just needs a fight!
Burns who was set to end the year against Filipino Ocampo as a warm up to a potential New Year unification fight with WBC champion Adrien Broner, will find it hard to find a fit and ready southpaw worthy of a world title challenge with just five days to go until the fight, and his promoter says they may yet make take a non title fight to ensure an upset Burns gets to perform.
“The fight is off,” confirmed Promoter Alex Morrison. “Jose Ocampo’s trainer died.“
“We’re search for another opponent and we’re optimistic we’ll get one. However, time will tell if it will be a world title fight.”
“It’s definitely upsetting for Ricky, He’s pretty disappointed. Billy Nelson specifically brought up a southpaw from England for Ricky to spar with. So yes, it’s pretty upsetting for Ricky. I’m meeting him later this afternoon and hopefully we can get another opponent by close of play today.”
“Obviously it is a big blow for Ricky to have been hit with not one but two call-offs. Given that we’re just five days away from the bill it is a real frustration.
“It is bad enough when your plans are disrupted on one occasion as happened with Liam Walsh’s unfortunate accident but now for Ocampo to call off so late on is hard to take.”