New trainer Tony Sims has urged Ricky Burns not to pursue a knockout win in his world title eliminator against Dejan Zlaticanin.
Burns returns to the ring without a world title after losing his WBO lightweight belt in a points defeat against Terence Crawford in March.
But the Scot is expected to land a shot at the WBC strap, currently held by Omar Figueroa, if he defeats Zlaticanin on Friday in Glasgow, live on Sky Sports.
Little is known about the Montenegrin, who is unbeaten in 18 fights, and Sims has warned Burns to exercise caution against a man with 13 stoppage wins.
He told the Daily Record: “Nobody over here has heard of him but this guy is a decent operator. He’s stopped a lot of opponents and the WBC rate him highly. This will be a hard fight.
“So I don’t want Ricky to go in there and try to knock him out. I want Ricky to outbox him and I’m looking forward to seeing him show his skills.
“He’s sparred with Luke Campbell and other unbeaten southpaws to prepare for this contest and he also helped Kevin Mitchell out by doing a lot of sessions with him before Kevin’s win against Ghislain Maduma last month."
Burns parted company with long-term trainer Billy Nelson on good terms after the Crawford loss and Sims has been overseeing his training camp.
The fighter is still hungry for success according to the Londoner, who has been refining his ring skills ahead of this week’s crucial clash.
“Ricky’s been with me at my gym in Essex for 10 weeks now and he’s in great shape,” said Sims. “I haven’t tried to change his style because, at 31, that’s not going to happen.
“I’ve just tried to add little bits and pieces here and there to help him, but the biggest plus for me is that he still has that desire to become world champion again.
“I’ve seen a lot of fighters who lose their titles and then just carry on boxing for the paydays but Ricky isn’t like that. He feels he still has a lot to prove.”
Watch coverage of Ricky Burns' fight live on Sky Sports 3 on Friday evening from 8pm.