Boxing: Burns beats Laryea hands down to retain title

Ricky Burns underscored his growing reputation to be ranked among Scotland's finest fighting men with a second successful defence of his WBO world super-featherweight title at the Braehead Arena in his home town Glasgow last night.

Yet while it was one of his most emphatic victories, the manner of it was not the most satisfying, with Ghanaian challenger Joseph Laryea quitting on his stool Sonny Liston-like at the end of the seventh round blaming a damaged right hand.

But Burns's punches were quicker and more spiteful, disheartening the tall, gangling Laryea. "I was really enjoying myself in there", said Burns. "I knew he was going to be difficult and awkward but things keep getting better for me."

The 27-year-old is the least visible and voluble of Britain's quartet of world champions. But this impressive win over a useful, battle-hardened opponent lifts him from the shadows towards genuine stardom, as well as the possibility of a unification fight.

James DeGale stopped journeyman Alpay Kobal on his feet after he bludgeoned the Frenchman for five rounds. The new British super-middleweight champion coasted to victory against the 34-year-old for his 10th successive victory.

The fight was intended to keep his gears clicking over for a scheduled big-money fight with the former amateur foe he sniffily calls "that ugly ginger kid", George Groves, the Commonwealth champion who narrowly beat him when they both wore ABA vests.

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