Nelson: Burns is on fire
Trainer Billy Nelson has revealed he is going to have to look abroad for sparring partners that can keep up with Ricky Burns.
Nelson has tipped the Scot to hit top form in his latest WBO lightweight title defence.
Promoter Eddie Hearn argued at the head-to-head press conference with Raymundo Beltran in Glasgow that "victory on Saturday night cements him as the greatest Scottish boxer of all time".
The declaration drew an embarrassed smile from Burns but Nelson feels his fighter has already proved himself greater than the likes of Ken Buchanan and Jim Watt.
The 30-year-old is looking to stretch his record to nine successful world title fights when he takes on Mexican Beltran at Glasgow's SECC and Nelson feels he is continuing to improve.
"He is the best fighter Scotland has ever had and he has still got plenty years to go," said Nelson, who runs the Fighting Scots gym in Mossend, Lanarkshire.
"He will unify titles and hopefully win a third world title at light-welterweight.
"He is a two-weight world champion, undefeated in his last 21 fights. He is very humble and someone has to speak up for him. And that will be me, because I see him on a daily basis. I know how good he is. I see what he does to quality, quality sparring partners on a daily basis. And they are not enjoying it.
"In fact, probably for the next fight we are going to have to bring in American and European sparring partners because we are running out of British opponents.
"We can't have mediocre sparring partners. It has got to be top guys because not only do you need to get yourself sharp physically for the fight, you have got to be mentally sharp as well.
"There is no point bringing in people that Ricky can just bash about a boxing ring. We bring in quality and that gets him properly prepared for a 12-round fight like we are going to get on Saturday against Raymundo Beltran."
Burns is looking to improve on his last performance despite his win over Jose Gonzalez. The Coatbridge fighter was behind on the scoring cards when the Puerto Rican retired on his stool with a hand injury before the 10th round.
"That wasn't Ricky Burns in the last fight," Nelson said. "You will see the real Ricky Burns in this fight. If the Ricky Burns that has been in the gym the last two weeks turns up on Saturday night, nobody in the world would beat him. It doesn't matter who it is or what way they box.
"We are well aware of what happened, he over-trained for the fight. He was in the gym for eight months. He had two fights cancelled and, the professional that he is, instead of taking time off, he continued to train. It was the first time I had experienced over-training, likewise for Ricky, but we have learned our lesson and that won't happen again. Because we won't be let down again."
Nelson added: "There are specific things we are going to do in the fight but if Raymundo wants to get involved in a toe-to-toe, we will happily accommodate that.
"But the fundamental thing is going to be Ricky's speed. Lightning speed. Absolutely lightning. On occasions on the pads this week it has just been a blur that's been hitting the pad."