Ricky Burns returns to the ring against Dejan Zlaticanin on Friday night for the first time since losing his WBO world lightweight title in March
The 31-year-old lost his belt to Terence Crawford earlier this year after nine successful world title bouts but he goes into a WBC eliminator against unbeaten Montenegrin Dejan Zlaticanin in Glasgow with champion Omar Figueroa firmly in his sights.
However, Burns insisted he would not underestimate dangerous opponent Zlaticanin ahead of the big fight.
The Coatbridge boxer told Sky Sports News: Hopefully after this fight, if all goes well and I get the win, we’re going down the WBC route. There are still some big fights out there at lightweight but I never, ever look beyond an opponent.
I’ve got to give this guy the respect he deserves, coming over here undefeated, a great knockout record so. We’re expecting a tough fight but a fight I’m more than confident of winning.
Burns claimed he had enjoyed his 10-week training camp in Essex with new trainer Tony Sims following his split from Billy Nelson but admitted he had missed his family.
He said: I feel as if I’ve just fitted right in down there now. Obviously it’s hard being away from your family but I got home every second or third weekend, getting home where I could, so it really wasn’t all that bad.
Hopefully come fight night it’s going to pay off and be worth it. Like I said training’s gone really well, I’m just looking forward to Friday night now and putting on a good performance.
Burns also concurred with critics’ opinions that he had to show big improvement after defeat to Crawford followed a below-par display against Raymundo Beltran, during which the Scot suffered a broken jaw.
That bout followed an unconvincing win over Jose Gonzalez, who was forced to retire with a wrist injury, and when asked if he had a point to prove, Burns added: I do with myself but I don’t really want to be putting any more pressure on myself.
The way I’m seeing it is I just need to go out there and do what I’ve been doing in the gym. I’m confident of going into my next fight and producing the goods.