RICKY BURNS has been ordered to defend his WBA world super-lightweight title against Kiryl Relikh next.
The hard-hitting Belarus native, promoted and trained by Ricky Hatton, is unbeaten in 21 outings with 19 stoppage wins.
Burns, promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, has 30 days to agree a deal with Relikh and his team or else the fight will go to purse bids.
Relikh, ranked No 1 by the WBA, has not yet boxed beyond the eighth round, having most recently forced Joaquim Carneiro to retired after four rounds of a scheduled 10 in May.
Burns became Scotland’s first ever three weight world champion in May when he stopped a disappointing Michele Di Rocco in eight rounds for the vacant title.
While Relikh has looked the part against his unheralded opposition, he has not faced anyone of Burns’ calibre yet.
Burns had been hoping for a fight with more marketable names like Adrien Broner or the winner of Terence Crawford’s July 23 meeting with Viktor Postol.