By William Mackay: In yet another easy title defense for World Boxing Organization (WBO) super featherweight champion Ricky Burns (31-2, 8 KO’s), he’ll be facing Nicky Cook (30-2, 16 KO’s) at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England on Saturday night.
This will be Burns’ third title defense of his WBO belt and his third mismatch. It’s unfortunate but there really isn’t anyone within in the top five for Burns to fight in his weight class that is even remotely interesting to fight. Ranked at number #6 by the WBO is unbeaten contender Adrien Broner, but he may be a little too good for Burns. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Burns to pick out a talented fighter like Broner.
Instead, Burns would like to fight unfication bouts against other lightweight champions Takahiro Aoh, Takashi Uchiyama or WBA interim champion Jorge Solis. None of those fights are particularly interesting because those fighters are completely unknown to casual boxing fans in the UK. It would be a hard sell to get the public interested in unification bouts between Burns and them, and besides that, Uchiyama appears to be better than Burns. It not be worth facing him and losing.
As for Cook, he’s a decent fighter and had his brief 15 minutes of fame when he defeated Alex Arthur to pick up the WBO super featherweight title in September 2008. Unfortunately, Cook was beaten in his very next fight by Ramon Martinez by a 4th round TKO in March 2009. Cook has only fought once since then, beating journeyman Youssef Al Hamidi by a 6 round points decision. Based on his inactivity and his lack of a ranking by the WBO, Cook is a rather odd pick for Burns to be fighting. Burns would be better off at least facing a contender, not someone that’s not even ranked in the top 15. But such as life. Hopefully, Burns can step it up to 1st tier opposition in his next defense.