Burns braced for tough battle
Ricky Burns expects his latest world title defence against Raymundo Beltran to go the distance.
The WBO lightweight champion won his most recent fight after nine rounds when Jose Gonzalez quit on his stool and stopped Kevin Mitchell inside four rounds on his previous outing.
But he anticipates Mexican Beltran to continue his record of having never been stopped - the 32-year-old has only lost two of 38 fights and both defeats came on points.
Victory for Burns would put him on course for the unification fight he has been craving for years but he is only focused on Saturday night's clash at the SECC in Glasgow.
Burns told Press Association Sport: "If I don't win on Saturday then these big fights aren't going to happen.
"I never ever look beyond anybody I have still got to get by.
"We have trained for a hard 12 rounds, and I do expect this fight to go the distance. That's why we have trained so hard for it. But if you get a knockout it's a bonus.
"Once we get through this fight, fingers crossed, and all goes well then we'll talk about these fights. Eddie (Hearn) said unification fights are there to be made."
Burns switched promoters from Frank Warren to Hearn after seeing two scheduled defences postponed, a decision which sparked ongoing legal action.
And Burns feels the circumstances contributed to his below-par display against Gonzalez, who was ahead on the judges' scorecards when a hand injury saw him retire.
The Coatbridge fighter said: "There was so much going on before the last fight.
"I had a few fights fall through and there were other problems behind the scenes as well.
"In the build-up to the fight I never felt any different and I felt as if training went well. But you can't beat getting in that ring and fighting.
"Training for nine months constantly for one fight at the end of it, I was just totally exhausted in there. My body needed a rest.
"When I watched the fight back, you could see it just wasn't me. I was over-reaching and unloading with every punch, trying to take the guy's head off.
"He surprised us as well, we didn't expect him to be such a slick boxer and I was getting caught with punches I shouldn't have been getting hit with.
"But it's all right looking back and saying what I should have done. I got the win, which is the main thing, and hopefully we learned from it and I can look forward to Saturday night."
Despite being taken by surprise by his last opponent's tactics, Burns has continued to let trainer Billy Nelson mastermind his initial approach and will adapt as he sees fit.
The 30-year-old said: "I said a couple of weeks ago to Billy: 'All right, give me a disc and I'll watch it'. I have still not watched it.
"Whatever happens on the night is going to happen. It's just the way I have always been.
"I like to concentrate more on what I'm going to do. You can start worrying yourself if you watch your opponents. I saw him fight previously before the fight was announced so I've got a rough idea what to expect.
"But we'll go out there and take it one round at a time."