Ricky Burns’ new trainer Tony Sims says the Scottish fighter has not lost any of his desire or determination despite losing his world belt earlier this 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 Dejan Zlaticanin on Friday, live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm.
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 after a 10-week camp with new trainer Sims in Essex.
Sims believes he has the desire needed to be a champion again, telling Sky Sports: “I’ve had fighters in the past that have lost important fights, you can see they’ve lost that bit of desire and will to do the extra bit that you need to do to be champion.
“And Ricky’s got that in abundance – if he’s left his wife and family behind in Scotland and moved down to Essex for 10 weeks for training and that takes a lot to do that.”
Burns himself feels like he is on top of his game to face Zlaticanin, who is undefeated in 18 fights, with 13 KOs.
“I was gutted losing my world title, it’s just made me more determined to go out there and prove a point to myself more than anything that I’ve still got it.
“I still believe that I do belong at a higher level.”
Burns feels the sacrifice of his Essex training camp was worth paying, saying: “The variety of training and that you’re doing, I think that’s what’s really got me here.
“Going down south, I knew it was going to be hard. Down there, you can concentrate fully on the boxing side of things, you’ve got no distractions at all.”