Boxing: Strain of campaign shows but Burns sees off challenger

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The Independent Online

Ricky Burns has his sights on fellow world super-featherweight title holder Mzonke Fana after comfortably defending his WBO belt against Andreas Evensen.

Burns dominated against the Norwegian-based fighter to seal a unanimous points victory in his first defence.

The Scot admitted he had failed to sparkle despite putting Evensen down in the opening seconds of the fight at Braehead Arena in Glasgow.

But the 27-year-old hopes some time off following a demanding year can help prepare him for a tougher assignment.

He wants promoter Frank Warren and manager Alex Morrison to line up a fight against IBF champion Fana, the South African rated the best super-featherweight by Ring magazine. "I'm after the Ring title," Burns said. "I want to fight Fana, he is No 1 and I'm No 2.

"It's the belt I've always wanted as well, so if we can get it happening, let's get it on."

Burns was always in control against Colombia-born Evensen, who had won his previous four fights within the distance.

But a knockout never looked likely as the unbeaten 24-year-old fought to the end before Burns was awarded victory by 118-109, 119-108 and 119-108.

The Coatbridge fighter's first defence was always likely to be an anti-climax following his triumph over clear favourite Roman Martinez in September.

Trainer Billy Nelson admitted there had been a "wee spark missing" but he explained: "Ricky has been on the move a wee bit too long now, he needs a good solid four weeks off."