Exclusive: Hosea Burton blames Bob Ajisafe for division decline

Manchester’s unbeaten prospect Hosea Burton has criticised Bob Ajisafe for refusing to defend his British title, saying the champion has caused the light heavyweight domestic scene to decline in the past few years.

Burton (14-0, 5 KO) – at 27-years of age – is looking to make real strides in 2016 and has already set a target of winning the elusive British belt before the year is out. Ajisafe has recently vacated the title, having not defended it since his points victory over Dean Francis back in March 2014.

Following Ajisafe’s decision to drop the title, Burton has now been put forward to face fellow unbeaten propsect Miles Shinkwin for the belt. It tops off a great week for ‘The Hammer’, after WBN also revealed last week that he will be in a title fight on the Scott Quigg vs Carl Frampton undercard on February 27.

“The British title is the first major honour that I want,” Burton exclusively told World Boxing News. “That is my first main aim and it is big stepping stone – it gives you that progression to world level. I would love to get the British strap and defend it three times to win it outright.”

“The light heavyweight scene in the UK is quite poor at the minute and it is because Bob Ajisafe hasn’t fought anyone. He’s been holding on to the British belt for almost two years and hasn’t defended it once. If he had put his title on the line, it would be exciting – simple.

“Miles Shinkwin has been mandatory to fight him for a while but it just hasn’t happened. I would also fight Ajisafe within a heartbeat and I know I would get the victory. I’ve sparred him once before and handled him with ease, I know sparring and fighting are two different things, but usually if you beat someone in the spar you can beat them in the fight,” Burton added.

Although the domestic scene may not be flying at the minute, at world level the 175lb weight class is flourishing and Burton wants to eventually share the ring with the best.

“It is as good as it has ever been at world level and I just want to get amongst it while it is red hot. I’ve not lost a round in my 14 fights as a professional, but firstly I want some gritty battles with some top class international opponents before I even think about the top guys.

“I’m confident and I think I could beat anyone, but I need a fair few testing and tough fights first and then I will be ready,” Burton concluded.

Matt Horan is a lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123