Ricky Burns says fatherhood is going to make him even hungrier to stay a World champion, starting with a defence of his WBO World Lightweight title against Raymundo Beltran tomorrow (September 7) live on Sky Sports 2 HD from the SECC in Glasgow.
The Coatbridge star became a father for the first time when his wife Amanda gave birth to a boy last Thursday, and ahead of the fourth defence of his crown the 30 year old says he has a new perspective on boxing with the new arrival to Team Burns.
“I’ve always been hungry for my fights but now I have even more to fight for with my little boy,” said Burns, who scaled 9st 8lbs 4oz – 9oz less than the challenger from Mexico. “I’m fighting to give him a great start in life and it’s definitely something that will drive me on to win not just tonight, but in all my future fights.
“The timing could’ve been better, but that’s life! I’d rather the baby come a week before the fight than just after as I would’ve had the phone on all the time and waiting for the call while I’m close to making wait or ready to step into the ring. Now he’s here, I can relax knowing that after I win I’ll be going home to my new family – it’s a great thought and something totally new of course.
“It’s easy to say it now, but the build-up hasn’t been affected by the baby really. Yes, I wanted to make sure Amanda and the baby were OK but she was in great hands, and I would probably have got on her nerves if I’d been around. It was a really long labour – two days basically – so she was really tired of course but I’m sure she’d agree that it’s worth it and we’ve got a beautiful little boy now.
“We haven’t decided on names yet, Amanda thought it was going to be a girl so it’s going to be baby Burns until we get a name sorted!”
Burns’ clash with Beltran tops a great night of action in Glasgow, with chief support provided by Steve Simmons clash with fellow unbeaten Cruiserweight David Graf for the vacant WBC International Silver title, and Jon Slowey facing Spain’s Angel Lorente for the vacant WBC International Featherweight Silver title.
Unbeaten Central Area Lightweight champion Scotty Cardle takes on his Northern Area counterpart Gary Fox, former British Featherweight champion Paul Appleby returns to action at Light Welterweight, and they are joined by Scottish prospects David Brophy and Michael Roberts plus Prizefighter Light Welterweights III winner Chris Jenkins and Liverpool’s unbeaten Super Middleweight talent Callum Smith, with Luke Campbell MBE no longer on the bill because of a family illness.
Tickets are on sale now priced £40, £60 & £100 available through www.ticketsoup.com or by calling 08443954000. VIP packages are on sale now priced £200 exclusively through Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 and at www.matchroomboxing.com.
RUNNING ORDER – SUBJECT TO CHANGE
6pm – red button 6 x 3 mins Light-Welterweight Contest
CHRIS JENKINS (10st ¾lbs) v LAURENT FERRA (10st 2¾lbs)
6.30pm – red button 6 x 3 mins Light-Welterweight Contest
PAUL APPLEBY (9st 13¾lbs) v LEE CONNELLY (9st 12lbs)
(South Queensferry) (Chesterfield)
7pm – red button 10 x 3 mins Vacant WBC International Featherweight Silver Championship
JON SLOWEY (9st) v ANGEL LORENTE (8st 13lbs)
LIVE FROM 8PM
6 x 3 mins Super Middleweight Contest
CALLUM SMITH (12st 4lbs) v KIRILL PSONKO (12st 3¾lbs)
8 x 3 mins Lightweight Contest
SCOTT CARDLE (9st 10¾lbs) v GARY FOX (9st 12lbs)
(Lytham St Annes) (Fishburn)
10 x 3 mins Vacant WBC International Cruiserweight Silver Championship
STEPHEN SIMMONS (14st 2lbs) v DAVID GRAF (13st 11lbs)
12 x 3 mins WBO Lightweight Championship
RICKY BURNS (9st 8lbs 4oz) v RAYMUNDO BELTRAN (9st 8lbs 13oz)
To be scheduled
6 x 3 mins Middleweight Contest
DAVID BROPHY (11st 9¾lbs) v JASON BALL (11st 9lbs)
6 x 3 mins Super-Featherweight Contest
MICHAEL ROBERTS (9st 8¾lbs) v EDDIE NESBITT (9st 6¾lbs)