• Lightweight

Mitchell: Burns can unify division

ESPN staff
September 24, 2012
Ricky Burns is on course to unify the lightweight division, believes Kevin Mitchell © PA Photos

Ricky Burns has been tipped by Kevin Mitchell to unify the lightweight division, after the Scot doled out an authoritative fourth-round stoppage defeat to the Londoner in Glasgow on Saturday evening.

Burns successfully retained his WBO lightweight title with an excellent display against Mitchell, who he twice knocked down on the way to a second defence of his belt.

The 29-year-old's win was widely lauded as the finest display of his career to date in the wake of his destruction of a man who had previously been tipped to achieve similar feats. And Mitchell conceded as much post-fight when he also put forward Burns' credentials for a unification of the division.

"He could definitely unify the division," Mitchell, who suffered the second defeat of his career, was quoted as saying by the Times.

"I don't think any of the other world champions would bother him. He's an awesome talent and there are no boundaries to stop him."

Burns' next title defence will be made in December, with London a possible location. Two-time former WBO featherweight champion Scott Harrison is keen to face Burns at the earliest possible opportunity, but whether the Scot is ready to take on his compatriot having fought twice since his almost seven-year absence from the sport remains a big question mark.

Burns himself was unfussed by the manner of his win, preferring to maintain his focus prior to a holiday to Las Vegas after which he will begin preparations for his next fight before the end of the year.

"I just treat it like my job," he said after his win. "It was just another fight to me, that's just the way it is."

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