Undefeated lightweight contender Dejan Zlaticanin is anticipating that his recent win over the declining Ricky Burns will edge him closer to a world title shot at WBC champion Omar Figueroa.
The 30-year-old shocked Burns in front of his home crowd in Scotland last week when dropping the former world title holder in the first round on his way to a split decision victory, and picked up the vacant WBC International belt in the process.
Zlaticanin improved his record to 19-0 upon his first trip to the UK and the Montenegrin southpaw says he would be happy to return to face any of the other British hopefuls if a fight with Figueroa fails to materialize.
“I know people were surprised by me beating Ricky Burns, but I was not surprised because I prepared good for this fight,” Zlaticanin told World Boxing News.
“I had confidence going into the fight that I could not only Burns, but any of the fighters in world’s top 10.
“I come from a little state where professional boxing is not a popular sport and we don’t have much investment so that is why I think people did not expect me to win.
“Hopefully this win will get me a fight with Omar Figueroa soon, but if not I would come back to the UK. Why not?
“I will fight anyone in the lightweight division and also the UK audience are great and support boxing correctly.”
Questions are now being asked on whether Burns should retire following a third straight bout without a victory, although Zlaticanin would not be drawn on the debate and chose to focus solely on his next fight instead.
“I’m not thinking about whether Burns should retire,” said Zlaticanin. “Right now I just think about what is next in my career and I will let that be his decision alone.
“I hope to be back in the ring by the end of the year and I really hope that the WBC federation enabled me fight with Omar Figueroa. I am just think about getting that fight,” he added.
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