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Adrien Broner vs Ricky Burns possible for February on HBO

Adrien Broner and Ricky Burns could meet in a February lightweight title unification on HBO, provided Burns retains his WBO belt next weekend against Jose Ocampo.

Scott Heavey

Mike Coppinger reports that Adrien Broner will "likely" be facing Ricky Burns in February, granted Burns retains his WBO lightweight title next Saturday in London.

Broner (24-0, 21 KO) won the WBC belt from Antonio DeMarco on November 17 with a spectacular performance that mostly convinced even his harsher critics that in the ring, he is the real deal.

Burns (35-2, 10 KO) will defend his belt against Jose Ocampo, a replacement opponent for Liam Walsh, who was injured in a car accident recently. Ocampo (17-5-1, 12 KO) is said to be a Pacquiao clone with a four-round gas tank, or at least that's what I'm told by Ryan Songalia, who passed that info along from those who have seen Ocampo's work.

Either way, Burns is a virtual lock to retain his title next week (as he would have been with the Walsh matchup, as well), and promoter Frank Warren has talked about making Broner-Burns happen early next year. The two were scheduled to meet in late 2011 for a 130-pound title, but Burns pulled out to move up to lightweight instead.

I would expect Burns -- who would surely have to travel to the U.S. for the fight -- to be a severe underdog in the matchup, but it's also as good a fight as is going to be made for Broner at 135 right now. That Burns would be such an underdog speaks to Broner's talent level, not to Burns' lack of credibility.

Burns last fought on September 22, beating Kevin Mitchell in four rounds in Glasgow.

Whatever Broner's next fight is, Golden Boy says it will be paired with a Johnathon Banks-Seth Mitchell rematch.