Ricky Burns will fight Scott Cardle in a Battle of Britain clash on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s undisputed world cruiserweight title fight with Oleksandr Usyk next weekend.
Coatbridge fighter Burns fought in his 50th professional contest in June and is Scotland’s first three-weight world champion.
He steps in to challenge local favourite Cardle following Joe Cordina’s withdrawal through injury, making a return to the Manchester Arena where he fought Anthony Crolla a year ago.
“There’s some big fights to be made in the lightweight division and a win here in front of such a large PPV audience will put me further in the frame for next year,” said Burns.
“The Manchester crowd last time out was fantastic and obviously Anthony Crolla is fighting on the bill. I’d still love that rematch down the line but, first and foremost, Scotty has my attention for next Saturday.
“It was a shame my gym-mate Joe Cordina pulled out through injury, but this is boxing. I’ll shake Scotty’s hand before and after the fight.
“Training has been going well, I’m always keeping busy in the gym waiting for the phone to ring. It doesn’t matter who I fight, I train for every fight the same, so the short notice doesn’t change anything drastically in terms of our preparation.
“These domestic dust-ups get the fans excited and it’s a great show to be fighting on.”
Former British lightweight champion Cardle hopes victory against Burns will put him in the frame for fights at world level in the not too distant future.
“This is a huge fight to get me back to where I want to be,” said Cardle. “Ricky is a former three-weight world champion and a Scottish great. A win against him would hopefully set up some even bigger fights down the line.
“This is a massive occasion for me, I’ve got the opportunity and now it’s time for me to deliver. I can’t turn fights like this down, especially at this stage of my career. The short notice isn’t ideal but I’ve trained hard for the Cordina fight and I’ll be ready next Saturday.
“Ricky is a very physical fighter, he’s got a great jab and he’s been in there with the best. He’s one of the toughest men in the sport and I’m prepared to go the distance with him. I’ll need to stay smart and use my speed on the night.
“I’m getting to a certain age now and I want to be able to look back on my career and be happy with what I’ve achieved. I want to reach world level before I call it a day and a win over a name like Burns could be the start of something big.”
Watch Usyk vs Bellew for the undisputed cruiserweight title, at Manchester Arena, on November 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from 6pm. Book it online here.
Even if you aren’t a Sky TV subscriber you can book and watch it at skysports.com/boxofficelive.
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