Feature | Issue | Premium | Oct 23 2019

Ricky Burns: ‘Maybe when I retire, I’ll step back and think I done alright’

But former three weight world champion Ricky Burns has no plan to stop any time soon. He speaks to John Dennen ahead of his clash with Lee Selby
Ricky Burns
Action Images/Reuters/Tony O'Brien

RICKY BURNS has had a long, punishing career in boxing. Now 36 years old, he’s been fighting professionally since 2001 and yet his enthusiasm for the sport appears to be undimmed. “I was 12 when I had my first amateur fight. Ever since then I’ve just been hooked on it. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. When I’m out and about people are asking me, ‘What will you do when you stop boxing?’ I’ve not even thought about it. I still think I’ve still got a few years left in me,” the Scotsman told Boxing News. “I’ll know myself when it’s time to pack it in. I can still dish it out as good as I’m getting when I’m in the gym. When I’m in fights as well. I’ve definitely got a few years left in me yet.”

He insists he is not formulating a retirement plan. “I love it. My attitude towards boxing has not changed since I started it. I still enjoy the fighting mostly, I enjoy the training, I enjoy getting up in the morning, doing sprints with everybody that I train with. I enjoy all that. Obviously the fight night’s the best bit. The only bad thing is dieting but I’m sure every boxer will tell you that. That’s the only bit that annoys me sometimes. I keep saying to myself I’ll keep fighting as long as I’m not taking too many punches and do you know, even in the gym that’s where you would find out. Because all the guys that I’ve been sparring with [are good]. Joe Cordina, Conor Benn, Martin Ward, we’re all round about the same weight so we spar quite often. So if there was a point where I was taking too many punches, it would definitely happen in the gym. I would know myself. But I can hold my own. So all good,” Burns said.

He does have a major fight looming. Burns will box fellow ex-IBF featherweight titlist Lee Selby on the undercard of Josh Taylor’s October 26 super-lightweight unification against Regis Prograis at the O2 Arena in London.


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