Former WBO super-featherweight and lightweight champion Ricky Burns is moving up to light-welterweight in a bid to win a third world title.
The Scot lost his lightweight title in March and was defeated in his comeback fight three months later. But Alex Morrison, manager of the 31-year-old Coatbridge fighter, says Burns will be a better boxer at 140lb. "Ricky was finding it harder to make the weight, he was virtually eating nothing before the weigh-in," he said. "I think that had a lot to do with his last three performances."
There was speculation that Burns might retire after a controversial draw with Mexican Raymundo Beltran was followed by a defeat by American Terence Crawford and a failed attempt to win the WBC international lightweight title against Dejan Zlaticanin.
"If he is [retiring] he hasn't told me and I spoke to him two days ago and I think he would be the first to tell me," Morrison told BBC Scotland. "He is just looking forward to October and fighting at the new weight. We're planning on him winning a third world title."
Burns has long been continuously linked with a fight with fellow Scot and former WBO featherweight champion Scott Harrison. Morrison said Burns would not rule out a bout against the Glaswegian - who has made a comeback at the age of 37 after time in jail in the UK and Spain - but that any contest had to be financially rewarding. "If the purse was right, he would consider it, but at the moment he doesn't need Harrison," said the manager. Morrison confirmed that Burns would fight on 4 October in Leeds, although an opponent has yet to be named, and the plan was to follow that with another contest in Glasgow in November. However, he believes another world title fight will not be too far away. "I would think it would be early next year, in Glasgow," revealed Morrison.