Former super featherweight titlist Ricky Burns says he feels stronger as he prepares for his lightweight debut on November 5 against Michael Katsidis. From the BBC:
"When I was fighting at super featherweight I was having to diet really, really strict for the eight weeks before a fight, whereas now I can relax a wee bit more. I can have that extra meal a day."
Burns also believes he could not have picked a harder fight for his first bout at the new division.
"He is one of the best in the weight division," said the Scot. "He's never in a dull fight.
"The couple of fights he's lost he's only ever lost against the real top boxers. I know I'm going to be up against it, but, again, it's going to bring out the best in me.
Burns (32-2, 9 KO) went from domestic fighter to major titlist in a bit of a shock upset in September 2010 over Roman Martinez, but since then he's been treading water and taking very, very easy fights. His three title defenses at 130 pounds were all pungent nonsense against non-contenders Andreas Evensen, Joseph Laryea, and a Nicky Cook who could barely walk anymore.
Even not considering the weight, Katsidis (28-4, 23 KO) is a big step up for Burns, who has almost no punching power and will have to outbox Katsidis for 12 rounds, or cut him, if he's going to win this fight. The 31-year-old Katsidis looks, to be honest, like a bit of a shot fighter himself, due to years of intense, bloody wars with some of the best fighters around, but it's a perfect fight for both I believe. Katsidis returns to the UK, where he has mowed down Graham Earl and Kevin Mitchell in past fights, looking for a big win. And Burns proves that he's not content to just win a belt and pick off the weaker challengers, as was the fear when he vacated instead of traveling to face Adrien Broner.