WBO lightweight titleholder Ricky Burns has dealt Frank Warren another blow by becoming the latest star to split from the British promoter’s camp.
The decision of the 29-year-old from Coatbridge, Scotland, to pull the plug on his time with Warren was confirmed Thursday and follows swiftly after the postponement of his scheduled March 16 unification showdown against IBF holder Miguel Vazquez.
The news is a devastating setback for the increasingly-isolated Warren, who only lost English super middleweight contender George Groves at the start of this week when he jumped ship to rival promoters Matchroom Sport, led by Eddie Hearn. Kell Brook, James DeGale and Tony Bellew have also walked away from Warren in recent times.
Burns (35-2, 10 knockouts) has yet to make any announcement with regard to future plans but clearly Hearn, who has a contract to promote for British broadcasters Sky Sports, is an obvious candidate.
Whatever unravels, Burns’ manager Alex Morrison is adamant the Brit had no choice but to end his association with Warren after the Vazquez bout was delayed until April 20 due to a viral infection picked up by the Mexican.
Morrison, however, questions whether the fight would have taken place at all even if Burns, whose previous outing in December of last year, against late stand-in Jose Ocampo, was also scrapped, remained with Warren.
“I regret it has come to this because I have known Frank for nearly 40 years, but it has to be for Ricky’s sake,” Morrison said. “I felt we had to do something to stop Ricky stagnating.
“Two fights have been called off after he has trained hard for them. It’s not even certain the rescheduled bout with Vazquez would have gone ahead on April 20. In fact, I now doubt very much that fight was ever going to happen.
“Vazquez was supposed to be sick, but five days later I’m told he was seen sparring in the States.”
Burns, a former holder at 130 pounds and THE RING’s No.3-ranked lightweight, is reportedly out of pocket to the tune of $15,000 after two ultimately pointless training camps inside four months.
As of yet it is unclear when and where he will next be in action, although a defense back home in Glasgow is believed to be under consideration.
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