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Ricky Burns to make first defense of title, takes on Hatton-trained Relikh

Fighters Network
Photo by: Shabba Shafiq

Photo by: Shabba Shafiq

Ricky Burns will defend his WBA junior welterweight title against undefeated mandatory challenger Kiryl Relikh at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Oct. 7 on Sky Sports, it was formally announced on Friday.

Burns (40-5-1, 14 knockouts) made history in May when he became Scotland’s first three-division champion with an eighth-round stoppage of Mchiele Di Rocco for a vacant title. Burns is looking for bigger fights on the horizon after he gets by Relikh.

“There are some massive fights out there in the future against some huge names in the 140lbs division,” Burns said in a press release. “But we’re taking it one step at a time, and that starts on October 7 at the Hydro.”

Belarus’ Relikh (21-0, 19 KOs) is trained and promoted by former two-division world champion Ricky Hatton, who suggested that Burns, 33, was ripe for the taking. 
“Ricky Burns is a top class fighter,” Hatton said in the release. “You don’t win three world titles by being anything less than world class, but there always has to be a changing of the guard and I think this could be Kiryl’s time.

Hatton added, “He’s been working with me in the gym for a while now and every day he’s been getting better and better so I believe people with be a little bit surprised with what they see when (he) gets it on with Burns.”

The undercard includes Scotty Cardle defending his British Lightweight title against Kevin Hooper; Charlie Flynn tackling Manchester’s Kofi Yates, as well as fights involving Joe Ham and Dillian Whyte. More announcements will be made shortly.

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