At the SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Ricky Burns became a three-weight world champion after outclassing and stopping Michele Di Rocco. To say Burns has now joined today’s elite group of 140-pounders (which includes the likes of Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol) would be more than a little reaching, but hey, it is what it is. Ricky Burns now wears the WBA’s top strap – however diluted and irrelevant it might seem – and is supposedly in line for (definitely) bigger challenges and fights.
It was pretty much one-way traffic from the onset here, with Burns serving up a boxing lesson to a pretty crude, unrefined Di Rocco who was gradually broken down and dropped twice en route to an 8th round TKO. Burns isn’t regarded as a world-beater these days, but had more than enough in his utility belt to take care of a vastly overmatched Di Rocco. Burns controlled the distance, scored repeatedly with a quick jab, and caught Di Rocco clean with straight-rights all night long, particularly in the 7th and 8th rounds when Di Rocco was more or less running on fumes.
Burns now moves up to 40 wins, 5 defeats, 1 draw, 13 knockouts, while Di Rocco falls south to 40 wins, 2 defeats, 1 draw, 18 knockouts.
Burns vs Di Rocco: Undercard
Nurse vs Limond
Tyrone Nurse proved far too much for an aging Willie Limond in their British Junior Welterweight Championship. Nurse retained his accolade in style, breaking down a more than willing challenger in Limond until, eventually, the referee decided to halt the action in the 9th round. Limond wasn’t significantly shaken at the time of the stoppage, but he’d absorbed more than enough of Nurse’s vicious head-body combinations to make this decision far from controversial. Nurse now extends his record to 33 wins, 2 defeats, 1 draw, 6 knockouts, while Limond reduces to 39 wins, 5 defeats, 11 knockouts.
Benn vs Keleher
Conor Benn, son of British boxing icon Nigel, had a tougher than expected night against a tenacious Luke Keleher who came out firing at the first bell. It was Benn who left the greater dent in each stanza of the four-rounder, but Keleher deserves big props for going toe-to-toe and making Benn work hard for the victory tonight. Benn, who will next be in action on the Joshua vs Breazeale card, now moves up to 2 wins, 1 knockout, while Keleher drops to 2 wins, 5 defeats, 1 draw, 1 knockout.
McCarthy vs Dickinson
Rising Cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy made easy work of step-up opponent Jon Lewis Dickinson, trumping his overmatched foe in every department en route to bagging a Unanimous Decision. Official scorecards came in at 97-92 (twice) and 98-91. Dickinson, who had to rise from a heavy knockdown at the midpoint, was game and tough throughout, but was made to look fairly pedestrian while being repeatedly punished by McCarthy’s counters and superior punch selection.
McCarthy now improves to 9 wins, 5 knockouts, while Dickinson reduces to 17 wins, 5 defeats, 5 knockouts.
Give us your take on Burns vs Di Rocco in the comments, plus the rest of the Glasgow card.