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Ricky Burns v Michael Gomez preview

Ricky BurnsBy Iwan Evans: Sky Sports Boxing go to Glasgow for the second time this week, after the Prizefighter Lightweights competitions at the Kelvin Hall on Tuesday Night, they head to the smaller Bellhouston Sports Centre for a Commonwealth Super featherweight clash between home favourite Ricky Burns and Manchester’s hot head Michael Gomez.

The press conference today (Thursday) was very eventful with Gomez bringing his usual intimidating style. Burns didn’t want to get involved but insults were traded between the two camps and one person from the Gomez camp accusing another from the Burns camp of a racist insult, rumoured to be about Gomez’s travelling/Irish roots. Anyway that has added some spice to the fight which I will preview, along with the undercard fights.

Burns (25-2, 6 KO’s) is a 25 year old who is known for being a very slick Boxer but in his two losses, it’s lack of power against Alex Arthur and Carl Johanesson that’s cost him. He is the current Commonwealth champion, beating Ghanaian Osumanu Akaba for the title in September last year with a unanimous point’s decision in what was a very tough fight.

He went on to defend the title in November against another Ghanaian fighter Yakubu Amidu, stopping him in seven and not many Ghanaian fighters get stopped, they are very tough lads and it was a very good performance from Burns.

Winning the Commonwealth title has given him a new lease of life and he’s going to be thinking about much bigger fights if he can win here. He’s promoted by Frank Warren and although the likes of Frank Maloney and Mick Hennessy are doing a very good job with their fighters, in my opinion they don’t make cards as good as Warren and can’t set up as big fights as Warren can.

Burns will target Nicky Cook’s conqueror, Roman “Rocky” Martinez if he makes another successful defence and he does have the skills to make the step up in my opinion because he had a lot of minor fights in late 2007 and early 2008, fighting mostly in six and eight round fights, but he’s worked himself well back up the ranks and he will be confident here.

Anyone who knows a little bit about British Boxing will know of Michael Gomez (38-9, 25 KO’s) and his style. He’s never changed his style; he comes forward and loves a war, not a scrap, a war because that’s what he makes fights in to. This is a guy that can punch but also he can go down having been stopped six times in his career. He’s had three small fights since losing in five rounds to Amir Khan in June last year, it was a fight he put Khan on the canvas and gave him a huge amount of problems.

He’s slowly slipped down the rankings since then and has been quiet in terms of fighting (you’ll never keeping him quiet orally) but you can never write this guy off and what you can guarantee in a Michael Gomez fight is excitement.

The press conference was just the start of it all, you can see that he really wants this fight but he is 31 years old now and although he’s been British champion twice and stopped Alex Arthur in five back in 2003, I don’t think he can go 12 rounds anymore and I don’t know if he’s on Burns’ level anymore.

This is going to be a really good fight, a good one for British Boxing fans, but for me Burns will be too sharp for Gomez. He’s the current champion and he seems very relaxed ahead of this fight, he won’t underestimate Gomez but he will take everything in his stride and be ready for it. Burns isn’t a KO artist but he performed very well in his last fight and I can see him surviving a good start from Gomez and stopping him in maybe six or seven rounds.

The chief support in Glasgow is a Celtic super middleweight title fight as Scot Kenny Anderson takes on Wales’ Nathan King. Anderson (9-0, 7 KO’s\) has made a really good start to his pro career and he’s been performing well against some tough guys. He’s coming off a solid third round stoppage of Hastings Rasani who’s fought at light heavyweight and cruiserweight in the past.

He has a very good amateur pedigree having won the Gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and he will feel this is a serious fight for him to make the jump up to British title level. He takes on Nathan King (12-12, 1 KO) from Mountain Ash in Wales.

He’s a very tough guy and only British title contender Tony Quigley has stopped him, which was in fact his last fight back in November. He’s fought for the WBU title and has gone the distance with the likes of Tony Oakey, Malik Dziarra and Tony Dodson. Like I said he’s a tough kid and a decent operator, but Anderson has made a good start to his pro career and has the amateur pedigree to box well and win this fight.

Lightweight Andy Morris returns to action in a four round fight as well. It’s the first time Morris will have fought since September 2007 when current Commonwealth champion John Simpson stopped him in seven rounds to win Morris’ British featherweight title.

He is a good fighter and has beaten current European champion Rendall Munroe, but he has been out of the ring for a long time and will be given a tough fight by Syrian born Yorkshire based fighter Yossef Al Hamidi (5-15, 1 KO’s) who’s been stopped only once in his pro career which was by Michael Gomez and he’s taken the likes of Akaash Bhatia, Ricky Burns, John Simpson and Michael Hunter very close and has a very good win over Anthony Crolla on his record.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Al Hamidi won here because he’s such a tough customer and Morris has been out of the ring for a very long time and hasn’t fought at lightweight for quite a while. You’d expect a points win for the classier Morris though as he looks to re-start his career.

The remaining fights involve Kris Hughes (5-0, 0 KO’s) who’s made a good start to his pro career and has a win over British title contender Matthew Edmonds to his name, who fights tough journeyman James Ancliff (6-3, 1 KO). Two other Scots, Craig Windsor (1-0, 1 KO) and Santino Caruana (pro debut) are also involved.

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