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Last Updated: 24/06/14 5:04pm

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Ricky Burns: looking to serve up a reminder of his class against Dejan Zlaticanin

Ricky Burns: looking to serve up a reminder of his class against Dejan Zlaticanin

Sky Bet

Ricky Burns will be desperate to re-establish himself on the world scene on Friday night when he faces the unbeaten Dejan Zlaticanin in Glasgow.

Having gone undefeated for six years and despatched the likes of Roman Martinez, Michael Katsidis and Kevin Mitchell on his way to cementing his status as WBO lightweight champion, Burns opted to fight Mexican challenger Raymundo Beltran in September 2013.

The 32-year-old Beltran is a long-time sparring partner of eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, but Glasgow fully expected their hero Burns to retain his belts that night. He ultimately did - but in the most controversial circumstances.

Beltran appeared to be in charge of the vast majority of the fight and broke the Coatbridge man's jaw in the second round before knocking him to the canvas in the eighth.

There was no doubting the heart Burns showed on the night (he subsequently required a titanium plate inserted in his jaw to aid the healing process), but there also little doubt over who had won the bout.

Instead, the judges scored the fight a draw. Beltran's manager Steve Feder was incensed, stating: "Ray was robbed but so was boxing. This is killing the game. Okay, you get some odd decisions but this is one of the worst." Burns had escaped with his title, if not his jaw, intact.


It proved merely a stay of execution, however. Having undergone jaw surgery and rehabilitation, Burns returned to the same ring in March to take on highly-rated American Terence Crawford and this time the decision was a wide points defeat.

Burns reacted by changing trainers, leaving Billy Nelson in an 'amicable split' and recruiting Essex mentor Tony Sims.

With the likes of Mitchell in Sims' stable, Burns has not been short on viable sparring options ahead of facing Zlaticanin and will be hoping to make a statement in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Zlaticanin, a 30-year-old Montenegran southpaw, is somewhat of an unknown quantity having never fought outside Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

With two first-round knockout victories in his last four fights, Burns must at least be wary of his opponent's power and Sims has urged him to stick to boxing rather than attempting to trade.

Should Burns show significant improvement in clinching the WBC International lightweight title on offer then a world title shot would presumably be forthcoming but, with the likes of a rejuvenated Mitchell on the domestic scene and Crawford establishing himself at the top of the division globally, Burns' way back to the summit looks anything but easy.

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