Scotland’s Ricky Burns believes he can make an immediate mark on the lightweight division by beating Australian Michael Katsidis at Wembley Arena, London, on November 5.
Dismissing talk he relinquished his WBO junior lightweight title last month to avoid facing unbeaten American Adrien Broner (21-0, 17 knockouts) — rather than over the issue of making the 130-pound limit — Burns (32-2, 9 KOs) insists that taking on Katsidis (28-4, 23 KOs), for the WBO interim lightweight belt, is a considerably stiffer proposition.
“How can they say that, when I’ve moved up and, in my eyes, taken a harder fight in Michael Katsidis?” said the 28-year-old from Coatbridge, Glasgow. “Nobody knows more than me that this is going to be the toughest fight of my career. Michael is never in a dull fight, he’s always in your face, so I know I’m going to have to be at my best.
“He is a great fighter, one of the best of the weight. I don’t think they could have got me a harder fight if they’d tried. He’s been in with the best, he’s proved himself. It’s a great chance to get out there and show what I can do.
“This was the best time to move up lightweight. The last couple of fights it was getting harder and harder for me to do it. Now I concentrate on the boxing side of things, and start enjoying it a lot more.”