Burns handles the pressure

13 03 2011

Burns: Handled the pressure

Ricky Burns proved he can handle the pressure following his technical stoppage of Joseph Laryea on Saturday to retain his WBO super-featherweight title.

Burns, who had been ill all week and has had to deal with some in-camp disputes, handled the pressure like a true champion to come out on top against the lanky Laryea.

It was hard for Burns to establish any sort of jab, especially early on as Laryea looked to land his big sweeping shots from these unorthodox angles.

Burns, to me and the judges, won the first three rounds, working the body brilliantly.

However Burns had to show the heart of a champion in the fourth, as Laryea penned back the champion using his jab to good effect.

But it wasn’t long before the Scotsmen began to show his true class, upping his work-rate and landing his combinations at will, with the best combination coming when the champ landed a crushing left hook to the body followed by one to the head.

However the fight ended in disappointing fashion as Laryea did not answer the bell for the start of the eighth, citing an apparent hand injury – not too sure how he managed to achieve that. What was even more disappointing, to me as a fight fan at least, was the fact Laryea didn’t seem too disappointed by this.

But now Burns can look forward to bigger and better challenges with a potential unification fight with Mzonke Fana on the cards. If Burns continues with this form, he will have to deal with much bigger pressures than going down as Scotland’s greatest ever boxer to deal with.

His trainer believes he can and so does the entire country of Scotland.

I, for one, am not entirely sure yet whether he can. He’s proved his mental toughness but now he’ll have to prove he has genuine world-class boxing ability, so pay close attention to Ricky Burns to see if he has what it takes.

Click here to see what Ricky Burns had to say following his win.

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