Boxing: Champion Burns adjusts to fame game

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The Independent Online

It is just possible that Ricky Burns will be British boxing's last anonymous world champion who wins a title after emerging from a hard career in proper fights and not a series of carefully selected risk-free encounters.

Burns twice lost at the start of his career but stuck with the unforgiving business until he was offered the World Boxing Organisation super-featherweight title fight last September. His Puerto Rican opponent, Roman Martinez, was unbeaten and well-groomed – in other words being positioned for big nights.

The Scottish underdog survived an early knockdown to win comfortably on points and ruin Martinez's pampered future.

There was an easy defence last December and tonight Burns returns to the Braehead Arena, to meet Ghana's Joseph Laryea. "I'm slowly dealing with people asking for pictures and autographs," said Burns. "It's been a long journey so far; I had over 100 amateur fights and everything has prepared me for this."

Laryea is tough and unpredictable, but Burns is too experienced in his new and increasingly familiar role as world champion.