Burns v Laryea: Can Burns handle the pressure?

11 03 2011

Burns: Can he handle the pressure?

Ricky Burns heads into tomorrow night’s defence of his WBO super-featherweight title against the backdrop of dressing room unrest.

Burns, who defends his title for a second time against Joseph Laryea, is having to deal with a squabble between his trainer, Billy Nelson, and manager, Alex Morrison.

Earlier this week trainer Nelson suggested that Burns is not far from going down as the greatest Scottish boxer in history. Now Burns merely shrugged off this suggestion and treated it as a joke, but his manager took a different view.

Morrison released a statement which distanced himself from the comments made by Billy Nelson, which has resulted in a mini-row in the Burns camp, which is certainly not ideal preparation.

Now, personally, I don’t see what the fuss is all about.

His trainer is giving his honest opinion of how far he believes his fighter can go and if anything it is a nice little confidence boost ahead an important fight. I can understand it might put a bit of pressure on Burns, but if he, and his team (including Morrison), are serious about going on to bigger and better things; then he has to deal with this pressure. If he can’t then I’m afraid his stint at the top won’t last much longer.

Yet putting that to one side, Burns will be facing an opponent who is an inch taller and has won 14 of his 18 fights with 11 coming via KO. Burns will have to be at his best to defeat the tough Ghanian who caused a shock of his own when he beat Paul Appelby via a split decision.

So if the humble and modest Scotsmen is serious about being one of the very best and wants that unification bout with Mzonke Fana, he’ll have to use all his class to dispose of the Laryea.

Take him too lightly and Burns could end up like Appelby, but if Burns is focused and handles the pressure, I can see an easy nights work for the champ who should get him out of there within seven rounds.

Don’t forget to tune into Sky Sports 1 at 8pm to see how Burns gets on and also see James DeGale in action for the first time in 2011.




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