23 May | 02:40:39
Scotland's Student Newspaper
Ricky Burns calls on fans to pack Glasgow weigh-in
Coatbridge fighter urges fans to flock to the St Enoch centre for Friday's weigh-in to give Puerto Rican opponent a taste of the noise he can expect at the Emirates Arena on Saturday
Thursday, 09 May, 2013 | 12:01
Credit: Ricky Burns – www.rickyburnsboxing.com

Ricky Burns has invited fans to a public weigh-in on Friday with challenger José González.

The 30-year-old Coatrbridge star defends his WBO lightweight title against the big-punching Puerto Rican mandatory challenger on Saturday night at the Emirates Arena.

Burns expects a noisy crowd at the arena, and hopes to give González a taste of what's to come when the duo hit the scales at a public weigh-in at the St. Enoch Centre in Glasgow at 1pm on Friday.

Burns said: "It would be great to get all the fans down to the St Enoch Centre and show José what he’s got in store on Saturday night.

“The atmosphere in the Emirates Arena is going to be electric and he’ll never have experienced anything like it before.

"I believe I’ve got the best fans in the world and the noise they made last time out against Kevin Mitchell was incredible. It gave me a massive lift and they played a huge part in the best night of my career so far.

"I’m looking forward to more of the same on Saturday night, but it all really starts with the weigh-in and we need them there on Friday to show just how passionate us Scots are about our boxing."

Speaking at Wednesday's press conference at the Emirates Arena, Billy Nelson, a former amateur boxer and Burns' trainer, said: "It's going to be a great fight, we've been looking forward to this one. We've been ready to go for months to be quite honest.

"I think you'll see the best of Ricky Burns, who in my opinion hasn't reached his peak as yet, but this is a very credible opponent who is coming over, he has a good knockout percentage, but I think he's in for the shock of his life on Saturday night."

Burns said: "The fight's just around the corner, but I feel as if I've been training forever for this. At this stage now, all the work's done and I just can't wait to get in there, go out and do my thing.

"I know that I've got a tough fight on my hands here and I'm sure all the fans coming down and watching live on Sky are in for a great night of boxing.

"It's an extra incentive going into this fight knowing that the big fights are still a possibility for me, especially the unification. I think that is the next step, but I never look beyond any opponent.

"As I've said, I've not been able to see a lot of footage of my opponent, but going on his record alone, I know it's going to be a tough fight - he's a big puncher, but hopefully I'll be able to go out there and be able to deal with that okay."

Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that around 5,000 tickets had already been sold for the clash in Glasgow's east end, but hoped that 6,000 would be in attendance on the night.

He added: "Scotland should really be celebrating that you have a world champion and we want to come back here time and time again with Ricky Burns to defend his title and to have huge fights.

"We've seen a response from the media and the fans as well, and it's refreshing, particularly in this economic climate that we get this kind of response.

"For me, deadling with Ricky Burns has been an absolute joy. Someone who is very hard working, very quiet; knows exactly what he wants, loves the competition, loves the sport, and he reminds me a lot of Carl Froch in that way, because there's not a lot of thrills.

"I'm not one to start trying to make a personality or make a character out of someone. I don't want Ricky coming in on flying carpets like we did with Naz [Naseem Hamed - famed for his spectacular entrances] or a Harley Davidson - I think he might give me a dig if I tried that.

"For me, Ricky is part of this new generation of real fighters, these are people who dedicate their life to the sport. It's not about the money - it's about delivering, competing, winning world titltes and being the best at your sport."

Burns and González head a top class bill in Glasgow as John Simpson faces Choi Tseveenpurev for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental super featherweight title and top Scottish talent including unbeaten trio David Brophy, Jon Slowey and Stephen Simmons, who takes on Michael Sweeney in a 10-round Celtic cruiserweight clash.

Video of Ricky Burns vs José González press conference:

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