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Ricky Burns expects tough WBO world lightweight title defence against Liam Walsh at London Excel

Boxers Liam Walsh (right) and Ricky Burns during the press conference at the Grosvenor Hotel, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 1, 2012. Photo credit should Nick Potts/PA Wire Boxers Liam Walsh (right) and Ricky Burns during the press conference at the Grosvenor Hotel, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 1, 2012. Photo credit should Nick Potts/PA Wire

Friday, November 2, 2012
8:54 AM

Ricky Burns refuses to view himself as a star for his WBO world lightweight title defence against Liam Walsh at London’s Excel on December 15.

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It would take an upset of seismic proportions for the 29-year-old Scot from Coatbridge to lose his crown to huge underdog Walsh, who is facing an enormous step up in class.

Burns’ reputation has soared following his career-best victory against Kevin Mitchell in September, but remains humble over his status.

“I don’t look at it like I’m the star. I tell people that although I’m the world champion, all that matters is I’m fit and that I’m fighting. Sometimes they don’t believe me,” he said.

“Boxing’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I don’t put any pressure on myself going into a fight because I’m not afraid to lose - I lost a couple of times early in my career.

“My attitude is that I’d rather be boxing and training than getting up to work in the morning, so for me I’ve got the best job in the world.”

Burns, who has won all but two of his 37 fights, refuses to be dismissive of an opponent who has compiled a modest 13-0 record.

“People are writing Liam off saying he’s got no chance, but I can’t look at it like that. This will be trickier than people think,” he said.

“Liam is a good boxer, but I’ve had these big unification fights dangled in front of me and that will give me a bit of extra incentive.

“Right now though Liam has my full attention. I’m training for a 12-round war. He’s got nothing to lose and has been performing well.”

Walsh, who ended nine of his 13 victories early, is only too happy to be regarded as a rank outsider.

“It’s always been my dream to be a world champion and now I’ve been given my opportunity, which I’m grateful for,” he said.

“I find it amusing that people are calling it a mis-match and I hope it carries on like that, because it takes all the pressure off me.”

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