Ricky Burns debut on Matchroom Sports nearly a disaster.

By CutmansStool - 05/14/2013 - Comments

burns64By CutmansStool: If you didn’t watch last weekends WBO lightweight title fight between Ricky Burns (36-2, 11 KO’s)) and Jose Gonzalez (22-1, 17 KO’s)) you would be forgiven if you came to the inclusion that Burns delivered a “brilliant performance” (as Glen McCrory described it in his blog) in his victory over the Puerto Rican challenger.

By reading columns and interviews involving anyone from Matchroom Sport’s or Sky TV, you may have a biased interception of what actually happened in Glasgow.

The truth is that Burns was totally outclassed in every round until the 8th and 9th, and even then that was more of a case of Gonzalez being questionably injured and exhausted rather than Burns figuring his opponent out.  In a fight which was Ricky’s fight after being signed to Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport, it so nearly ended in disaster.

Prior to the world title fight, little was known about the challenger Jose Gonzalez, it would appear the entire Burns camp had underestimated the skills the fighter had.  In the opening round it started with the battle of the jabs which was quickly dominated by Gonzalez.  In the first half of the fight,  it was clear that Gonzalez was winning the rounds and Burns and no answers for the style of boxing he was facing.

Gonzalez increased the pressure in round 6 where Burns had no answers at all for his opponent,  Gonzalez had Burns totally outclassed in every department.  In the 7th Gonzalez pursued for the knockout and he had Burns badly hurt.  Credit however must go to Burns, he was able to hold on and survive the onslaught and stay on his feet. After the 7th it appeared that the round had taken more out of Gonzalez than it did Burns.  This was the turning point in the fight where Gonzalez appeared to have taken a lot out of the tank in pursuing the knockout.  Gonzalez later claimed that this was the round in which in picked up a wrist injury.

Burns then went to win the 8th and 9th, but by no means did he dominate the rounds. Before the 10th started the referee was notified that Gonzalez wanted to retire which was an absolute shock to the crowd and everyone else watching and provided world champion Ricky Burn with a lucky escape.  It appeared that Gonzalez had a wrist injury and did look exhausted in his corner.  If the fighter had the “heart” as many people after described it, to battle through 3 more rounds then he would have drawn the fight at the very least.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael said it best, that it was more of a case of Gonzalez losing the fight than Ricky winning it.  The truth is Ricky had no plan B for Gonzalez and against greater opposition he would have lost the fight.  Ricky Burns did show brilliant toughness, but not brilliant boxing skills. He was outclassed for most of the fight, and he is very lucky to come away with that belt around his waist.

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