Burns retains title with points win over Relikh
WBA light welterweight champion Ricky Burns (41-5-1, 14 KOs) outpointed previously unbeaten Kiryl Relikh (21-1, 19 KOs) on Friday night at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Scotsman displayed good boxing skills and toughness to overcome relentless assaults by the Belarusian challenger and retained his title by scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112.
Burns was on the backfoot for most of the first two rounds as Relikh connected with a flurry of hooks.
But Burns soon started to land hard shots to head and body, and took charge of the following rounds with his accuracy and good defence.
However, Relikh piled on the punches in the later rounds and Burns was hurt in the 10th by body shots.
Relikh continued to land some solid blows in the final two rounds but Burns recovered and fired back before he eventually got the decision.
"I have to say that Relikh can really whack and he caught me with a couple of big shots early on, said Burns. "He could whack! I know people go on about big punchers but there were some thudding punches.
"We stuck to the game-plan though, stuck to boxing and I'm pleased with myself that I never got dragged into the fight. I got the win, that's the main thing."
Burns, who became Scotland's first three-weight world champion when he knocked out Italy's Michele Di Rocco in the eighth round to win the vacant belt last May, now looks set to fight four-weight world champion Adrien Broner, who was stripped of the WBA belt for failing to make weight before he defeated Britain's Ashley Theophane in April.
Also on the card, Dillian Whyte (19-1, 15 KOs) stopped fellow Londoner Ian Lewison (12-3-1, 8 KOs) to claim the vacant British heavyweight title.
Whyte was sharp with his shots and also skilful with slipping punches. Lewison was brave and kept marching forward but Whyte's heavy blows dominated the action.
Lewison, who suffered a suspected broken nose, was not responding with punches by the end of the 10th and his corner pulled him out before the start of the 11th.
Scott Cardle (21-0-1, 7 KOs) made a successful defence of his British lightweight title with a sixth-round stoppage over Kevin Hooper (19-4, 4 KOs).