Opinion | May 06 2015

Ricky Burns takes educated Texas gamble against Omar Figueroa

Burns should be proud of his achievements but defeat could spell the end, writes Daniel Herbert
Ricky Burns
Ricky-Burns  |  Lawrence Lustig/Matchroom

RICKY BURNS takes a gamble, albeit an understandable one, this weekend when he travels to Hidalgo, Texas to fight local Omar Figueroa on Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champion television series. Defeat would surely spell the end for Burns, who has held world titles at two weights (130lbs and 135lbs) but who in his last four fights has beaten only unheralded Frenchman Alexandre Lepelley.

But should “Rickster” upset Figueroa, he will put himself back in line for future paydays against big names, both in the UK and abroad. Given the way the Coatbridge man’s form has tailed off over the last couple of years, it’s easy to forget he has already achieved far more than many thought he would – and I include myself in that group.

The boxer who lost domestic title fights to Alex Arthur and Carl Johanneson kept plugging away and when his chance came for the WBO super-feather belt, he survived a first-round knockdown to beat Roman Martinez. (And for those who think Ricky toppled a weak champion, bear in mind that Martinez is once again WBO king at the weight after recently dethroning Orlando Salido).