WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns has linked up with his former challenger Andreas Evensen to prepare for his big unification showdown. The Scotsman was in training camp with Evensen at his gym in Trondheim, Norway, last week as he gets ready to face IBF Word Champion Miguel Vazquez at Wembley Arena on March 16. Burns beat Evensen over 12 rounds back in April 2010 to make the first defence of his WBO World Super-Featherweight title, but Evensen asked Burns to come and help with his fight against Alexander Miskirtchian for the European featherweight title next month in Denmark. Stablemates John Simpson, the Celtic Super-Featherweight Champion, and unbeaten middleweight prospect David Brophy, also joined Burns on the trip.
“Going out to spar with Evensen again was like carrying on from our fight in 2010, round 13!” said Burns. “Even though he’s dropped down to featherweight and I’ve moved up to lightweight, his power has improved and he’s got faster and cleverer which comes with experience. Some of the locals were shocked at the intensity of the sparring, it was like a real fight but the only difference is the headguards and big gloves, Evensen held his own with me, John and David.
“Vazquez is a totally different style and size to Evensen and we’ll be bringing in sparring partners more similar to Vazquez over the next few weeks so that I can prepare for him, but I’ll also be working with John and David, which will be hard work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,”
Burns’ trainer Billy Nelson added, “Evensen’s manager and promoter Helge Waeroy and his team showed us fantastic hospitality during our stay in Norway and the facilities were second to none. Ricky had some excellent spars with Andreas and they did 26 good rounds together and despite the treacherous snowy conditions, which coming from Scotland is saying something, Ricky managed to get in a few tough mountain runs. This was a great start to training and we’ll be stepping it up now to get ready for Vazquez.”
The 29-year-old from Coatbridge is excited to be facing a rival world champion and the chance to become a unified champion which he has dreamt about since he was a boy.
Burns said, “It’s still sinking in that I’m a double world champion, now I’ve got the chance to unify titles it’s a dream come true. It’s always been spoke about, but as my career has progressed it seemed more and more likely to happen and now it’s finally here. This is the biggest thing in my life, it’s another challenge and I aim to come through it.”