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Watt impressed with Ricky Burns’ performance against Figueroa

Ricky BurnsBy Scott Gilfoid: Sky Sports commentator Jim Watt really liked what he saw from the 32-year-old Ricky Burns (37-5-1, 11 KOs) last Saturday in his 12 round unanimous decision loss to former WBC lightweight champion Omar Figueroa (25-0-1, 18 KOs) at the State Farm Arena, in Hidalgo, Texas, USA.

Watt thinks Burns has some more big fights left in him despite his loss, and he further thinks that Burns can fight in the light welterweight division.

Whatever chance that Burns had in winning the fight against Figueroa went down the drain with his two point deductions for holding. Burns would have been at least close enough to make a fight of it if he hadn’t lost two points for holding. What was interesting is that Burns didn’t think he clinched any more than Figueroa.

If you saw the fight, you’ll have noticed that only one fighter was holding and that was Burns. He just didn’t seem to have any clues in how to stop Figueroa’s nonstop offense, so clinching seemed to be his only option. Yeah, it was totally ugly to watch, and I was surprised that the referee Lawrence Cole showed as much patience as he did in not taking points off earlier in the fight for Burns’ holding and especially for mean rabbit shots. To say that Burns fought a dirty fight is a huge understatement. He looked like an MMA fighter out there with the way he fought Figueroa.

“I thought it was a terrific effort from Ricky, keeping in mind he was a big underdog beforehand. I thought it’s the best show we’ve had from him in the last three years,” Watt told Skysports.com.

I agree with Watt in part. I think it was a good effort from Burns compared to how he’d fought in his last four fights against Alexandre Lepelley, Dejan Zlaticanin, Terence Crawford and Raymundo Beltran. But it still wasn’t the kind of effort that suggests that Burns will beat any of the light welterweight or lightweight champions.

It was a good effort for a contender, which Burns isn’t even that any more, but it wasn’t the type of performance that tells me that Burns can beat the likes of Jorge Linares, Crawford, Mickey Bey, Richard Abril, Lucas Matthysse, Danny Garcia, Jessie Vargas or Lamont Peterson. I believe all of those fighters would whip Burns if they fought him. The thing is most of those guys are world champions, so that kind of leaves Burns out in the cold if he wants to be a world champion.

“His first fight at light-welterweight he didn’t look very impressive last time out so we were thinking that he’d used up his chances in the lightweight division and doesn’t seem big enough for the light-welterweight – but last night changes your mind about that,” Watt said. “There and there are big fights out there for him.”

I think the Burns-Figueroa fight would have been a much different story if Burns hadn’t clinched like mad. Without all that holding, I think he would have been either knocked out or worn out to the point where he would have been getting knocked around the ring all night long.


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