Blogs & Opinion

Johnny Nelson: Ricky Burns to show class against Raymund Beltran

Features Posted 2nd September 2013 view comments

Well the new boxing season is here - and what a start we've got.

World champion Ricky Burns opens it up on Saturday, then David Haye and Tyson Fury kick in and then in terms of massive all-British showdowns, we have Carl Froch and George Groves on the horizon.

Ricky Burns: the world champion will put on a show on Saturday, says Johnny

Ricky Burns: the world champion will put on a show on Saturday, says Johnny

Of course I am a Sheffield man and Kell Brook is coming our way and no doubt our new world champion Darren Barker, could be back before Christmas. And don't forget Anthony Joshua making his debut and the other Olympians are in action, including Luke Campbell this weekend.

We are going to see title fights galore as we go on, but what better way to start than with one of the four British world champions we have.

As soon as you become a dad, you have a different outlook. You want to give your children the life you never had; you want some stability in their - and your - life and you want to win as much as you can, so you can ensure they are set up. Don't get me wrong, I am sure Saturday night might be emotional for Ricky Burns, but this will make him even stronger as a fighter.

Johnny Nelson
Quotes of the week

I am a fan of Ricky Burns and bit by bit he is getting better and better. I often talk about fighters having the drive and desire to win world titles and when they do, that's their lot.

There are plenty of fighters who have won the world title and suddenly have nothing to prove. They lose that hunger and usually their reigns don't last long.

Well Ricky Burns is still improving, still wants to improve and he still feels he has to prove himself and show the boxing world he is a champion.


Raymundo Beltran might be his mandatory challenger but you will still see the home fighter and champion, giving it is all, desperate to put on a show and prove that he is among the best lightweights in the world.

And if that isn't enough, Ricky is now a dad! Finally his first child was born on Thursday, nine days before his defence, and his life has changed forever.

It can't have been easy going through the final days of training camp when your baby is due, but it has to be done. And don't think that it is going to produce a poor performance.

For a start, Ricky will not be the one getting up at 2am to feed! He will not be changing nappies or running round doing 'baby things' until Beltran is out of the way.

But what it will do - what it certainly did to me when I became a father - is give him even more belief, even more drive to do well. As soon as you become a dad, you have a different outlook.

You want to give your children the life you never had; you want some stability in their - and your - life and you want to win as much as you can, so you can ensure they are set up.

Don't get me wrong, I am sure Saturday night might be emotional for Ricky, but this will make him even stronger as a fighter. It will add to that self-belief and it will, I am sure, see him put on a show.


I am expecting him to win and then, I think it's time to take on the big guns in the lightweight division. We've got Adrian Broner of course, but Yuriorkas Gamboa, Antonio DeMarco and Miguel Vazquez, all in the top level.And personally, I want to see Ricky move up a level in who he fights. The best in the division don't rate Ricky and clearly under-estimate him. I am sure the so-called big guns big guns would all fancy a go at him, so bring it on because Ricky still has plenty more to offer and is already better than they think.

I would even go for Broner next! Not only is Burns on the up, Broner has maybe even taken a little step back after the Paulie Malignaggi fight. He got hit plenty of times and didn't exactly put on a show, so maybe his confidence has taken a hit too!

Even if Broner is the same as ever, then I'd love to see what he makes of a fight in Glasgow. This is one part of the world where if I was him, I'd keep shtum, that's for sure.

The Scottish fans don't take fools lightly and since Ricky has become a world champion, they are slowly but surely getting right behind him. He will be a national hero, an icon for Scottish boxing and indeed sport in general, I hope.

They want to see him do well because Ricky is one of them. He has not gone big-time at all since winning the world title and he is always going to be one of the lads, even as a father.

He still works in the sports shop with his mates and things like that will always keep his relationship with the general public real. He is a grafter and he is never going to move away from his roots.

It will be a cracking atmosphere on Saturday night because we have a world champion who is going to get better and better. And now he is a dad, Ricky Burns has even more reasons to do a job.

back to top

Other Experts:

Latest Posts in :

Alex Ferguson

Clowney's no joke

US sports expert Alex Ferguson profiles Jadeveon Clowney, the biggest defensive pick of the draft....

Alex Ferguson

King James reigns

Alex Ferguson celebrates a wacky, smile-inducing year in US sport - and salutes Miami's LeBron James....


Alex Ferguson

Start your engines!

Alex Ferguson predicts who will triumph in NASCAR's showpiece race, the Daytona 500....


Alex Ferguson

A perfect union?

Alex Ferguson looks at the possible unionisation of college football and how he would handle the issue....

Alex Ferguson

Call of the century

Spacemen Portland pick Bowie over Jordan - Alex Ferguson ranks the biggest decisions in US Sport....


Alex Ferguson

Independence aces

Alex Ferguson kicks off his Independence Day fun by picking his 20 best bits of American sport....


Jamie Redknapp

Toffees come unstuck

Man Utd's men with a point to prove can take advantage of Everton's midweek blow, says Jamie Redknapp....

Paul Merson

Merson's predictions

Paul Merson says Liverpool WON'T beat Norwich - and Chelsea and Man City will close the gap....

Ed Chamberlin

Van the man?

Ed Chamberlin explains why Tejay van Garderen is capable of plucking the Tour de France's Yellow Jersey....


Jamie Carragher

Bruce almighty

Steve Bruce deserves a mention when this year's managerial awards are handed out, says Carra....

Dewi Morris

Heart and soul

Dewi Morris looks at a crucial weekend in the Championship as we head towards the play-offs....

Stuart Barnes

Ups and downs

Stuart Barnes says the drama of relegation must be kept in rugby, but the play-offs need changing....

Phil Clarke

To Hull and back

Phil Clarke looks at the mental damage done to Hull FC and Huddersfield in the Challenge Cup....

Bob Willis

Away for a while

Bob Willis thinks Jonathan Trott will be absent from England duty for some time following his latest setback....

Rob Lee

Pinky and perky

Rob Lee blogs on his vivid Masters Breakfast attire and the men that made waves at Augusta National....

Mark Petchey

Fillip for Ferrer

Mark Petchey marvels at David Ferrer's win over Rafael Nadal but downplays it's long-term significance....

Barry Cowan

Heavy burden

Great Britain's best Davis Cup since 1986 fails to mask their reliance on Andy Murray, says Barry Cowan....

Alex Hammond

Just Cause

Alex Hammond reveals her tips for the Irish Grand National and the other decent racing in Ireland this weeend....

Alex Hammond

Going the distance

Marathon entrant Alex Hammond previews the Newbury action and Scottish National meeting at Ayr....

Alex Hammond

Rocky's road

Alex Hammond explains why she is backing Rocky Creek and Lion Na Bearnai at the Grand National....

Jim Watt

Quigg as a flash

If he can control the pace Scott Quigg should see off challenger Tshifhiwa Munyai, says Jim Watt....

Johnny Nelson

The best of friends

It will be tough but Johnny Nelson expects mates Anthony Crolla and John Murray to serve up a classic....

Glenn McCrory

Manny happy returns

Manny Pacquiao is back to his best and could yet get it on with Floyd Mayweather, says Glenn McCrory....

View from America

Desperate deals?

Simon Veness reviews a crazy week in the NFL's free agent frenzy, as sides splash out over $1bn....


Neal Foulds

Trump tip

Ronnie O'Sullivan is favourite for the Worlds - but Judd Trump could spring a shock, says Neal Foulds....

Neal Foulds

Night at the Circus

Neal Foulds is looking forward to another fun, raucous Snooker Shoot-Out - but can't pick a winner....


Neal Foulds

Simply the best?

Five-time Masters champion Ronnie O'Sullivan may be the best snooker player ever, says Neal Foulds....


Kelvin Tatum

The contenders

Kelvin Tatum runs through the teams and riders ahead of the 2014 Elite League Speedway season....

Kelvin Tatum

Kelvin's 2013 Review

Kelvin Tatum salutes Poole's hierarchy and Tai Woffinden in his round-up of the speedway season....


Kelvin Tatum

Rich re-Ward

Poole, and the dynamic Darcy Ward, will wrap up the Elite League title at Perry Barr, says Kelvin Tatum....


Richard Moore

The final curtain

Richard Moore reflects on Sunday's Closing Ceremony to an unforgettable Olympic Games......


Richard Moore

A lasting golden glow

Richard Moore suggests all the British Olympians should visit schools and talk about their experiences....


Richard Moore

Favourite Froome

Richard Moore reveals his predictions for the 100th Tour de France, which starts on Saturday....


Wayne McCullough

Wonderful Davis

Wayne McCullough watched Antonio Rogerio Nogueria take on Phil Davis at UFC Fight Night 24. ...


Wayne McCullough

Jones shines bright

Wayne McCullough was highly impressed as the talented Jon Jones made short work of Mauricio Rua....


Wayne McCullough

A bloody marvel

Wayne McCullough salutes Diego Sanchez as he edges out Martin Kampmann in a UFC humdinger....