He had to dig damn deep to do it, but Ricky Burns emerged from his battle with Kiryl Relikh today with his WBA super lightweight title intact.
A quick browse of the Twitterverse reveals a near-unanimous agreement that Relikh (21-1, 19 KO) started and ended strong, while Burns (41-5-1, 14 KO) kept the Belarusan slugger at bay during the middle rounds. Despite being a close fight that could reportedly go either way, the judges gave it to "The Rickster" on scores of 118-110, 116-112, and 116-112.
The fights’ here on YouTube at the moment, so calibrate your level of outrage while you can.
With the win, Burns is in line to face Adrien Broner, who held the aforementioned WBA belt before losing it on the scales against Ashley Theophane. Considering Burns struggled with a man not even in BoxRec’s top-200, that may not go terribly well for him.
Elsewhere on the card, Dillian Whyte knocked out Ian Lewison for the vacant British heavyweight title and Scott Cardle dispatched Kevin Hooper in his third British lightweight title defense.