Ricky Burns hopes to be crowned as world champion again by the end of the year
Last Updated: 24/06/14 4:17pm
Ricky Burns believes victory over Dejan Zlaticanin will put him on the path to another world title win before the end of the year.
The Scot’s reign as WBO lightweight champion was ended in March by a points defeat against Terence Crawford, but he will move back into title contention with a win over Zlaticanin on Friday, live on Sky Sports.
His meeting with the Montenegrin serves as an eliminator for the WBC title, currently held by Omar Figueroa, and Burns remains determined to rule this division, despite calls for him to move up in weight.
“(Promoter) Eddie (Hearn) said that I need to come through this first, but if I do then he'll be pushing for me to fight Figueroa,” said the Coatbridge man.
“I believe I have another world title in me. Omar is a good fighter, another southpaw, but I've seen clips of him and his last defence was a close fight and some people thought he lost it.
It would be a fight that I would be confident going into and the WBC belt is the one that everyone wants to get their hands on. Fingers crossed that I can get through this one and Eddie can work his magic and get me that shot
“It would be a fight that I would be confident going into and the WBC belt is the one that everyone wants to get their hands on. Fingers crossed that I can get through this one and Eddie can work his magic and get me that shot.
“A lot of people have said to me are you moving up to light welterweight, but 100 per cent I am staying at lightweight. There are some huge fights out there for me at the weight, the rematches with (Raymundo) Beltran and Crawford are big ones, there's (IBF champion) Miguel Vasquez and there's some great British fights too.
“I make light-welterweight too easy and I think that if you are making the weight too easy you are at the wrong weight. That last couple of pounds to get to lightweight is not fun, but I am a lightweight and I'm not going to be moving.”
Zlaticanin is a mystery man, who has never fought on these shores, and Burns knows little about the unbeaten southpaw.
But the 31-year-old expects to rediscover his best form after a 10-week camp with new trainer Tony Sims in Essex.
“I haven't watched any footage of Dejan,” he said. “I know he's undefeated in 18 fights with 13 KOs, but I don’t think he's boxed outside his hometown so you don't really know the level of opponents he's facing.
“I never put more pressure on myself than I need to, as long as I get the win, that's all that matters.
“Is Friday a must-win fight? Yes, I suppose so, but that puts more pressure on and when you go in there looking for the big punches to look good it doesn't happen. I am just going into this fight and looking to stick to my boxing and if I have got to him and hurt him I will be looking to close the show, but as long as I win that's the main thing.
“I think you will see a different Ricky Burns in the ring. I am happier in the gym, I am in with a great bunch of lads and I've really enjoyed the camp so I think that will show on Friday.”