Feb 16 2011 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge
RICKY BURNS has been getting the lowdown on world title challenger Joseph Laryea from the Ghanaian’s last opponent.
Coatbridge’s WBO super-featherweight champion will defend his belt at the Braehead Arena on March 12.
And the 27-year-old is preparing for the bout by sparring with Paul Appleby, the boxer beaten on points when Laryea last travelled to Scotland.
“I’ve been sparring with Paul and been talking to him about Joseph’s strengths and weaknesses as he has first-hand experience of what this guy is all about,” Burns told Advertiser Sport.
“I think Paul knows he looked at the fight in front of him that night but he went the full distance and he’ll be looking to get his name back up there.
“I know exactly how to beat Joseph. I will stamp my authority on the fight in the first couple of rounds, and once he’s stepping back, it’s going to be over.
“Ghanaian fighters are very tough and Joseph boxed beautifully behind his long jab the night he beat Paul.
“But I have a good jab as well, and although he has a height and reach advantage, we’ve figured out how to deal with that.”
Burns, with 30 career wins to his name, is stepping up his pre-fight training as he eyes a second successful title defence.
He added: “Sparring is getting tougher and we’re preparing by bringing guys up here who are similar in style to Joseph. Things have been going well. The timing and sharpness is getting there and my fitness is improving all the time as well.
“I’ve been sparring with Tyrone Nurse and we’re going to be bringing up Derry Matthews so there is a good variety of sparring there.”
Burns believes Laryea has lost the element of surprise after his win against Appleby and is using the prospect of a unification bout this summer as extra motivation.
“Everyone knows what this guy is all about after his win,” he said. “He will come over here and give 110 per cent but there’s no way he’s taking the title from me.
“I just really can’t wait to get into the ring and get on with the job.
“As long as I win, there’s a big unification fight for me in the summer so that’s my inspiration. I just have to make sure I win.”
*TICKETS for Burns’ world title show are on sale at DW Sports in Coatbridge, where the champ works part-time.
Fight fans who buy a brief from the store will be entered into a raffle with the chance of winning a pair of signed gloves and receive an invitation to one of Burns’ sparring sessions.
For general ticket information, call the Braehead Arena hotline on 0844 499 1700.