Ricky Burns had to dig down deep in his last fight, an alarmingly tough rally win over unheralded Jose "Chelo" Gonzalez in May, and says that he won't make the same mistakes against Raymundo Beltran on September 7 in Glasgow, a fight that he is not overlooking despite Beltran not having the best-looking win-loss record.
"I've watched the fight back a couple of times. You can see I was trying to force the pace and got caught with stupid punches that I shouldn't have been taking. I think for this training camp especially, I'll go back to basics.
... "We're expecting a tough fight. He's only lost to fighters at the top level. He's not been a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao for all those years for nothing.
... "I keep telling everybody that although it's been mentioned that I could possibly fight in America next year, in my eyes I've got to take it one fight at a time. Beltran is a great fighter and boxing fans know it's going to be a cracker."
Burns (36-2, 11 KO) struggled mightily with Gonzalez before going to Plan B (if not Plan C or D) and just throwing caution to the wind, wearing down the Puerto Rican and stopping him after nine rounds, even though he trailed 87-84 on all three scorecards.
Beltran (28-6, 17 KO) doesn't have a pretty record, but he's come into his own a bit the last couple of years, beating guys like Hank Lundy and Ji-Hoon Kim, and dropping very competitive, debatable decisions to Sharif Bogere and Luis Ramos Jr on ShoBox. The 32-year-old Mexican is a viable threat to Burns on paper, and whatever he may give up in boxing skill, he may be able to make up for with grit.
To me, this is one of the really intriguing fights on the calendar at the moment, sort of flying under the radar for most of us because there's really a fantastic schedule on the horizon. Does Beltran have the tools to take the title home from Scotland, or will a potentially refocused Burns be too good?