Ricky's big test
Eddie Hearn says Ricky Burns can make a statement by beating the tough Ray Beltran.
Last Updated: 05/09/13 1:48pm
It's been a great week in Glasgow, tickets are flying, double page spreads in the papers every day, it's lovely.
I really think this is the toughest test of Ricky Burns' career. Beltran is very experienced, very tough, and is the toughest fight outside of the champions.
Also, because of Ricky's last fight against Jose Gonzales he's under pressure to produce a great performance, and that doesn't help the situation effectively putting more pressure on Ricky. It's a tough enough fight without the expectancy of the people to put in a great performance.
There is a lot of pressure on him but there should be in top level boxing. Now Adrien Broner has moved up Ricky is the top lightweight around and Beltran is top-10 in the Ring Magazine and there's a big buzz in Scotland surrounding the fight.
Looking at Beltran, you see the Wild Card Gym, you see Top Rank and Bob Arum, the team he's travelled with. The terms of the contract was seven days accomodation - they've paid for six more days and brought three or four extra people, so the've thrown everything into this fight.
Terrence Crawford, another Top Rank fighter, will probably end up as the mandatory for the winner and they will be thinking Beltran-Crawford is an easy fight to make, they've sent Beltran here to win and they think they'll win, they really do.
Stylistically it's a wonderful fight. He's an all-action fighter, very tough and while Ricky had to go looking for Gonzalez all the time, he won't have to with Beltran. It's going to be a wonderful fight.
If you're not at your best at world level, then you're in trouble. And that's what happened against Gonzalez. Ricky found a way to win ugly - his intention this time is not to win ugly, he'll be looking to break him down and do a number on him. If he's not at his best against Beltran he's in trouble, but the lessons have been learnt from last time and he's ready to shine.
He's had a little baby boy recently which is an issue you have to overcome, even though it's a positive. We are fathers but we're not fighters, and I think they have a different mentality to us. Not that they don't care, but they fight for a living and that makes them very different to us.
I remember when Carl Froch had his daughter two weeks before the Kessler rematch, and I told him 'don't go soft'. But I said that to the wrong person because that's the last thing Carl would do. These individuals are so focused I don't think it even registers as an effect because they are so focused on the fight.
I'm a big believer that if you are a happy person outside your job or your sport you are going to perform better. Ricky has got such a balanced life, and because it's such a roller-coaster you don't need to be dealing with dramas or unhappiness away from your training camp. Ricky can just focus on what he's doing and I see it as a positive because now he's got something else to fight for. It's just extra motivation.
I know the tactics and the gameplan but in this fight I don't think Beltran will be difficult to work out. When he fought Gonzalez there was no blueprint, no footage and unluckily for us he was exceptional. But with Beltran you know exactly what you're going to get. Everyone's mentality is to box, but they will draw something from the Gonzalez fight and I think they will try to put pressure on Ricky and try to out-muscle him.
Ricky's a very, very good boxer but we've also seen another side of him against Kevin Mitchell when he just came in and bombed him out. I don't think it's going to be the most tactical fight of all time, I just think it's going to be toe-to-toe.
This is a voluntary defence and I think times are changing in boxing, I look at some of the opponents my dad used to get his world champions and what other promoters used to get for theirs, and I just don't think you can get away with it any more. Times are hard, fans and broadcasters want value for money and to be honest, if you're a world champion you should be in good fights. Ricky's the favourite but the odds are fairly tight.
Nathan Cleverly is a perfect example. Because of the level of fighters he was operating at, when he stepped up a level he wasn't level. You look at Burns - Moses, Katsidis, Mitchell, Gonzalez, Beltran - you're ready for anyone in the division after a run like that. I just think the world is changing, the sport is changing and you can't get away with 'nailed on' certainties.
Actually, because of the support in Glasgow you could get away with any opponent for Ricky. But he's not that kind of guy and I don't think he would get as motivated for guys he would beat easily. This is his ninth title fight on a spin and it's a really impressive run. He should get credit for that but because he's not an extrovert he is not going to get that exposure in the short term.
People were saying the same thing about Carl Froch a year ago - why doesn't he get the credit he deserves? This is a progressive journey we're on and we're breaking down the walls with every fight. A lot more people are asking if Ricky gets the credit he deserves - well I'm getting that question so much that everybody is talkng about him in the first place!
Froch is one of the biggest sportsmen in the UK now and we'll get there with Ricky Burns. I think people respect someone who is a hardworking individual, a down to earth warrior and that's why people have embraced Carl Froch. I think Ricky is the same, there are no frills, no flash cars and women, he's just a great fighter, a great bloke and great to watch and the public like that. Bring on the Flower of Scotland and Michael Buffer - it's going to be great!
We've got nine fights on the undercard, including a great fight between Stephen Simmons and David Graf, who is a Sauerland fighter with a 10-0 record, for the WBC international title. It's a potential humdinger between two young prospects. There's Scotty Cardle against Northern Area champion Gary Fox, Paul Appleby returns plus prospects Jon Slowey, David Brophy and Michael Roberts.
Also added to the line-up are Callum Smith and Prizefighter champion Chris Jenkins. It's a good bill - last time all except about 20 percent were in the bar for the undercard, which was quite frustrating but hopefully they'll start getting behind their young prospects on Saturday night.