Wednesday , July 28 2021

Ricky Burns turns the clock and turns out Scott Cardle

On this evidence, there is still plenty of life in the old dog. Ricky Burns may approach the twilight of what has been a famous career but presented yesterday evening with an unexpected opportunity to retreat to lightweight, denies the Coatbridge man with both hands.

The 35-year-old was expected to fight in the United States next week, but was instead prepared to take on Scotty Cardle in Manchester Arena as a late replacement for stable Joe Cordina.

The light bout on the subcard of Oleksandr Usyk and Tony Bellew cruiserweight contest had planned to go 10 consecutive times, but Burns, in his 51st professional match about 17 years after his first, only needed three to complete the 16th knockout victory of his career.

Dominating from the first clock, the former world-renowned world champion saw complete control of Cardle, who did not respond to Burn's impact and accuracy.

At the third round, a coat was opened above Cardle's eye, and when a right-handed hand sent the Lytham fighter's sprawling flat on his back as if a trap had just opened under him, the referee counted eight before deciding on Cardle's Scottish parenthood suffered enough. It was Burns fastest win since 2011.

"I do not feel different now how I did when I first hit the gloves," they said continually green burns afterwards. "I felt good out there tonight. I was down to fight next week but we got the chance to get on this show and we hoped for the chance.

"It's a good place to fight in and I'm glad we got the win. Work as Tony [Sims, his trainer] Fields with me and all my gymnates mean I'm always ready.

"I'm always waiting for that phone call so hopefully there are still some great fights out there for me. I always treat every fight so it just felt like usual tonight.

"I felt like I got my shot and I got the winnings, which is all that matters to my eyes. We sit down now and see if we can get a big match set up for after the New Year."

The defeat would probably have ended with a chance that Burns returns to the global scene, but the victory and its convincing character should ensure he is in the mix of big fights in the light division next year.

"There are some big names out there and a couple of them have called me on social media," Burns revealed.

"But I'm just trying to keep it away. I'm just going to leave it [manager] Alex Morrison and [promoter] Eddie [Hearn]. "

His commitment and dedication to training ensures that even at 35 years he can go to toe with fighters a decade younger.

"After each match, I'm always back in the gym," Burns revealed. "I'm always in shape. I can take a break from boxing and maybe eat too much and my weight goes up, but I'm always watching. So when I start training I've always had a good base of exercise. "

Sims acknowledged Burns' youthful spirit was a key to his lifetime. "We call him Benjamin Button when he rolls back all the time," said the coach. "He surprises me all the time. You still can see that Ricky is a world-class fighter. He still has a few big fights left in him."

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