Burn-t out

Phil Jay 28/06/2014

Former world champion Ricky Burns lost on his comeback to Dejan Zlaticanin in Glasgow on Friday night and now finds himself on the world title scrap-heap at the age of just 31.

In his last three performances, Burns has wholly failed to impress and after labouring through twelve rounds against his Balkan foe, who extended the question marks over whether the Scot has any career left at the top even further.

Burns looked a shell of the fighter who defeated Roman Martinez, Michael Katsidis and Kevin Mitchell to raptures from the boxing press and it seems that the Ray Beltran fight in September 2013 may turn out to be a career-ender for the ‘Rickster.’ Suffering that terrible broken jaw and coming back so quickly against Terence Crawford now looks like a huge mistake and being handed a controversial draw against Beltran could conceivably be seen as a curse for Burns.

If the two-weight champion had lost his title, as many believe he should against Beltran, Burns would have has considerably more time to recover from what were very serious facial injuries. As it turns out, Burns was thrust into a mandatory defence against Crawford and as a result was tentative in his engaging with American, as was the case against Zlaticanin at the Braehead Arena.

Credit has to go to the travelling Montenegran for taking advantage of the situation, although you can’t help but think that the Burns of three years ago would have had no trouble taking Zlaticanin apart. In the end, and despite a late rally, Burns was beaten 115-113 (twice) and 113-115 on the scorecards and faces a tough decision about whether he should keep going in the sport that had made him a huge star in the UK.

On the undercard, Curtis Woodhouse made an unsuccessful ring return from a brief retirement after losing his beloved British title to Commonwealth champion Willie Limond via a majority decision. After being dropped twice in the fight, Woodhouse went down 117-109, 116-111 and surprisingly 113-113 on Victor Loughlin’s poor viewing as Limond became a double title holder to the home crowd’s delight.

Also on the bill, Scotland’s Stephen Simmons stopped Wadi Camacho in a cruiserweight grudge match during the tenth round of what was a see-saw battle apparently edging the way of the Englishman.

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