Ricky Burns is a boxer from Coatbridge in Scotland who fights in the super-featherweight division. He is the reigning Commonwealth super featherweight champion and has previously challenged for both the British and European titles.
Burns first fight as a professional was a four round victory in October 2001 over Woody Greenaway at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow. In December 2004 after six more wins over journeyman opponents he found himself in the ring with fellow unbeaten prospect Colin Bain. he beat Bain on points over six rounds but also had him down twice in the 2nd. The win set him up for a journey south of the border to face England's touted and unbeaten British Lightweight Champion Graham Earl
. The fight took place at the Wembley Conference Center and Burns produced one of the upsets of the year when he scored a points victory to beat Earl over 8 rounds.
The win against Earl forced people to stand up and take notice of the young Scot and after wins over the likes of Buster Dennis, Haider Ali and Alan Temple he landed a shot at the big time when in February 2006 he took on reigning British, Commonwealth and European champion Alex Arthur
. The fight took place in Edinburgh and ended in noble defeat for Burns as Arthur retained on points. Burns who was still only a 12 fight novice at this stage took the fight to Arthur prompting the champion to heap praise on the Coatbridge man "Ricky Burns was in superb shape and he was up for the fight" said Arthur, "He's a brilliant boxer with a great future and he could be a world champion one day." Burns himself refused to be disappointed with the loss saying "I don't count that as a loss. I'm just 22 and it was great experience for me".
Burns next had a crack at the British title almost exactly a year later when in February 2007 he met reigning champion Carl Johanneson at the Town Hall in Leeds. The fight ended once again in noble defeat with Burns losing a 12 round decision to the experienced champion. Johanneson intent on winning well before his home crowd hounded Burns throughout the fight and managed to put Burns down three times although despite this never seemed in danger of stopping him.
After the defeat to Johanneson, Burns took the decision to bid farewell to his old boxing club in a bid to seek a new challenge. Ricky had worked with Rab Bannan at the Barn Boxing Club for over 14 years but the Johanneson defeat prompted a need for a change of direction. On telling his former mentor the news Burns said "It was a nightmare having to tell him. It was really sad because I’ve been with him for 14 years. All my boxing life really. It was really hard but we left on good terms and we shook hands and I’m sure our paths will cross again.” Burns moved to the Dalmarnock gym in Glasgow where he could train alongside the likes of Willie Limond
and Kenny Anderson
Since the fight with Johanneson Burns won 8 fights in a row over opponents who could easily fall into the journeyman category. A ten round win over Romanian Gheorghe Ghiompirica at the Thistle Hotel in Glasgow gave him the lightly regarded British International Masters belt. Burns also spent time sparring old foe Alex Arthur in preparation for Arthur's WBO Super-Featherweight title defence against Nicky Cook.
In September 2008 Burns found himself in line for a crack at the vacant Commonwealth title, a belt which had been given up by Londoner Kevin Mitchell
. The challenge took place at the York Hall
in Bethnal Green and saw Burns outpoint the Ghanaian Osumana Akaba
over 12 rounds. The fight which was taken with only weeks notice after the original main event on the card was cancelled propelled Burns into the championship frame. Speaking of his future ambitions Burns said "There is only fight I want at the moment. That fight would be the current British champion Kevin Mitchell. He recently has been injured, and wont be back until December so we'll have to see what happens"