Burns defeats Di Rocco to win WBA belt
Ricky Burns (40-5-1, 14 KOs) became Scotland’s first ever three-weight world champion with a dominant 8th round stoppage win over Michele Di Rocco (40-2-1, 18 KOs) to win the vacant WBA light welterweight title on Saturday night at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.
Burns, who previously won world titles at super featherweight and lightweight, boxed well behind his jab and landed hard shots throughout the fight.
The Scot used good movement to avoid Di Rocco's punches before a straight right hand dropped the Italian visitor at the end of the third round.
The 33-year-old Burns remained patient and continued scoring with his straight right, allowing Di Rocco, 34, to swing and miss even more frequently.
Burns dominated the middle rounds, punishing Di Rocco with blows to the head and body.
In the 8th, Burns unloaded a barrage of punches which sent his opponent to the canvas for the second time. Di Rocco stumbled to his feet but was too hurt to continue and the referee stopped the fight.
"When the fight was stopped I could feel myself welling up," said Burns. "My team knew what this meant to me."
Now Burns has set his sights on match-ups with the top fighters in the division, including American Terence Crawford, who outpointed him for his WBO lightweight title in March 2014.
"There is some big fights and some big names out there for me.
"You have Terence Crawford, he is fighting Viktor Postol in a unification. I would fight him again if it came down to it. Why not? And there are other big fights out there."