• Steve Bunce

Burns doesn't need Broner bout

Steve Bunce September 25, 2012
Ricky Burns defended the WBO title against Kevin Mitchell © Getty Images

Ricky Burns proved on Saturday that he 100% belongs in elite company, blowing away Kevin Mitchell inside four rounds.

If any of the other world champions or contenders had come to Britain and stopped Mitchell like that, we'd be proclaiming them as the best lightweight since X, Y or Z.

Burns pulls it off, and for some reason people forget the fact it's a huge shock. Remember Mitchell had only lost one fight before Saturday.

And so Burns will continue to be denied the widespread recognition he deserves. There seems to be some sort of online agenda which says "yes, he did well - but if he fought X or Y next, he'd lose". It's as if us Brits are afraid to pat ourselves on the back.

Adrien Broner, the 23-year-old unbeaten American, is the name that keeps being mentioned alongside Burns - but he's never topped a big bill, never fought a ranked lightweight, and his fans all arrive in the same taxi.

The Broner v Burns fight will not happen for a while: for starters, Broner needs to win the WBC lightweight title from Antonio DeMarco in November. If he gets his hands on that, then perhaps you can think about starting negotiations.

But can someone tell me a reason why Burns should give Broner a chance? It makes no sense. I guarantee you the gate receipts for Broner v DeMarco will be less than was paid to Burns and Mitchell.

I know Broner has a big online following - someone tried to tell me he was better than Burns because he had more Twitter followers - yet that counts for little. Yes, he's an American with a few flashy moves - but that doesn't make him Floyd Mayweather Jr.

If you ask people about Adrian Broner, they give you a quizzical look and say "oh yeah, the guy whose Dad combs his hair in the ring". They don't hand out world-title fights for that.

Broner v Mitchell, now that's a good bout; for Burns, perhaps he could look towards John Murray: that would be a massive sell out. Broner can wait his turn.

Fab Frampton
Carl Frampton made it look easy against Steve Molitor, a former world champion, on Saturday. It was a big risk and one that paid off: Molitor was schooled by the younger man.

He looked poor, but anyone can be smart after the event; on paper there was nothing wrong with him.

As impressive as Frampton was, I'm not sure I'd say he's moved above British rivals Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe. It would be nice to see those three involved together at some point, but if that doesn't happen right now, it doesn't happen. Down the line the fights could be massive.

Next up for Frampton I'd be looking for another Molitor-like scalp: there's nothing wrong with getting a few faded ex-world champions on his CV. It's a great way for a fighter to raise his profile.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Steve Bunce Close
Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.