Oct 5 2011 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge
RICKY BURNS says he is “excited” at the thought of beating Michael Katsidis and becoming Scotland’s first two-weight world champion in 16 years.
The 28-year-old will face the gritty Australian at the Wembley Arena in London on Saturday, November 5.
Burns has relinquished his WBO super-featherweight crown so he can have a crack at the lightweight championship.
Standing between him and title glory is Brit basher Katsidis who has stopped Kevin Mitchell and Graham Earl in the last four years.
However, Burns knows he will make history if he shuts down Katsidis and becomes the nation’s first two-weight world champ since Paul Weir in 1995.
“I’m motivated by challenges and facing a top name like Michael has really got me excited,” said Burns at a press conference in London last Thursday.
“He’s been in the ring with some of the best in the business like Juan Manuel Marquez.
“Michael is also well-known to the fans here after his wins against Graham and Kevin.
“He will come to have a war – but so did Roman Martinez when I won the world title.
“I put on my best performances against fighters who come in to have a fight.
“It’s also about creating a bit of history and a personal ambition to win a second world title in another weight division.”
Moving up to the lightweight division has long been spoken about in Burns’ camp after a glittering year as champion.
The memorable win over Puerto Rico’s Martinez last September catapulted Burns into the spotlight with the super-featherweight title successfully defended three times since then.
Now it’s time for a new challenge and they don’t come much bigger than a date with proud Queenslander Katsidis. Burns is determined to take his chance.
“The time is right for me to move up a division as I have been making super-featherweight for years and it was getting more and more difficult to hit 9st 4lbs,” he added.
“So when the opportunity to fight Katsidis for the world title came up, it was an offer I didn’t want to miss.”
*WATCH Ricky Burns take on Michael Katsidis live and exclusive on BoxNation which is on Sky Channel 456.
Burns said: “This will be my first fight on the new TV channel BoxNation and I’m looking forward to putting on a good fight for the viewers.”