Dec 17 2012 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
Ricky Burns has been left hugely disappointed after a second fighter was pulled out of this Saturday’s world title clash.
The 29-year-old from Coatbridge had been due to face Filipino puncher Jose ‘The Bomber’ Ocampo at London’s ExCel Arena this weekend.
But the southpaw from Manila was withdrawn from the headline bout on Monday evening after his trainer Danny Bactol died suddenly from a heart attack.
Ocampo, who was set to bring a record of 17 wins, five losses and one draw from 23 fights to Britain on Saturday, was a late replacement for unbeaten Liam Walsh who had to pull out following injuries sustained in a car accident.
However, the plans and preparations of Burns and trainer Billy Nelson were shattered as a result of Ocampo’s withdrawal.
Frank Warren Promotions were on Tuesday afternoon attempting to find another opponent for Burns so he could fight, as scheduled, in London on Saturday night.
But it was later confirmed that Burns would not defend the WBO lightweight crown he won in November last year after seeing off Aussie Michael Katsidis at the Wembley Arena or even on the bill.
"It's a very disappointing time," said promoter Frank Warren. "I feel for Ricky who has put in a lot of hard work to prepare, first for Walsh and then Ocampo.
"Now he won't be on the show this Saturday but he will return in late January."
Manager Alex Morrison added: "Obviously Ricky was disappointed.
"But he took it on the chin and he's taken a philosophical approach to it now.
"He knows that these things happen and it's unfortunate. He knows that he'll be out in the New Year.
"Ricky will take a week's rest and then he'll start back in training again."
Burns, with a ring record of 35 wins from 37 contests, knew victory over Ocampo would set up a unification title showdown with WBC champ Adrien Broner in 2013.