Burns stops Di Rocco in eight, becomes three-weight world champ

Phil Jay 28/05/2016

Scotland’s Ricky Burns further secured his legacy in the sport by claiming a world title at a third separate weight class.

The 33 year-old defeated Michele Di Rocco via an eight round stoppage to win the vacant WBA 140 pound championship in a fight that Burns never looked likely to lose.

In front of a passionate crowd at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Coatbridge’s finest put the 40th professional win of his career in the record books to pick up a recognised belt for the first time in 26 months.

Di Rocco, 34, lost for only the second time in a twelve-year ring stint, but in all honesty, struggled to get to grips with the occasion. Burns had the Italian down in the fourth and then again in the eighth to finish the job to the delight of his home supporters. 

The likeable and unassuming Burns adds to super featherweight and lightweight titles won against Puerto Rican Roman Martinez in 2010 and Aussie hardman Michael Katsidis in 2011 (interim version later upgraded).

An all-British clash with co-feature and British belt holder Tyrone Nurse could be next for Burns before a further trip to the US in search of a 2017 unification.

Undercard results:

Tyrone Nurse retained his British super lightweight title halting a brave Willie Limond in the ninth round. The Yorkshireman was on top for the majority of the contest and can now boast a 33-2-1 as a pro.

Son of a legend Conor Benn came through a tough second fight opposite Luke Keleher as the fledgling super lightweight built on his impressive pro debut last month.

Benn, 19, was guilty of being a little reckless at times, but credit has to go to Keleher who made ‘The Destroyer’ earn every penny of his purse.

After four rounds, the bout was scored 40-36 for Benn who is scheduled to fight against next month as promoter Eddie Hearn keeps him busy as promised.

London-born Northern Irishman Tommy McCarthy took a considerable step towards a British title shot with a ten round unanimous decision over ex-Lonsdale belt holder Jon-Lewis Dickinson.

McCarthy dropped Dickinson in the first half of the fight and saw out the victory 98-91, 97-92 (twice) on the scorecards despite tiring towards the end.

Anthony Ogogo made a successful return from yet another lengthy injury with a third round stoppage over Chris Hermann. It’s taken the former Olympian an age to reach 9-0 in the pro ranks due to several setback, although the Golden Boy and Sauerland promoted fighter is now planning a busy period of fights alongside a title push.

In a non-title fight, British lightweight champion Scott Cardle out-pointed Ivan Njegac over six rounds 60-53, before Joe Ham defeated Paul Holt over six to push to 8-0.

Middleweight contender John Ryder scored a points victory over Robert Talarek to improved to 23-2, whilst there were early wins for Sam Ball over George Hennon and Ryan Smith over Youssef Al Hamidi.

In the shock of the night, super welterweight Chris Jenkinson defeated Marc Kerr to end his five-fight winning streak. Jenkinson moves on to 9-32-2 with the unexpected triumph.