Get with Gonzalez in Glasgow

  • By: Derek Bilton
  • Last Updated: May 10 2013, 9:59 BST

Our expert Derek Bilton is taking on a pair of British boxers in his preview of Saturday night's action.

Gonzales (right) is fancied to beat Burns in Glasgow
Gonzales (right) is fancied to beat Burns in Glasgow

Pride of Scotland Ricky Burns defends his WBO lightweight title this Saturday night in what looks a tough test against unbeaten Puerto Rican Jose Gonzalez.

Burns looked sensational last time out as he bashed up the touted Kevin Mitchell in a fight many boxing experts had down as a 50-50 job.

However the Coatbridge champion went to work in fine style to secure one of the best wins of his career with a stoppage of Mitchell inside four pulsating sessions.

Burns really made a statement that night and if there ever was a boxer who likes to let his fists do the talking it is he. Calm, grounded and seemingly unaffected by the trappings of fame, Ricky is to my knowledge the only world champion in the sport who is still on the payroll as a sports shop sales assistant (he works part-time for DW Sports in his hometown).

Burns is unbeaten in 20 fights, a proud record dating back over six years. But it was his victory over another unbeaten Puerto Rican in 2010 that announced his arrival on the world stage.

Many thought he would be mere fodder for Roman Martinez, but 'Rickster' survived a first round knockdown to punch out a deserved win on the cards to claim the WBO super-featherweight title on a night of raw at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow.

Wins since over Mitchell and Aussie warmonger Michael Katsidis among others have raised his standing on these shores to the point that he goes off a red hot 1/4 favourite this weekend.

However he has had some distractions outside of the ring in recent months (his move from Frank Warren to Eddie Hearn has been less than cordial) and in Gonzalez faces an untested but dangerous banger who assures us he is here to tear up the script.

Promoter Hearn warned this week: "There are no rematch clauses, no options, it is a free shot at the world title for Gonzalez."

There is nobody on Gonzalez' record that stands out. However that fact that his KO ratio is above 77 per cent tells us that this kid is a banger. Add the fact that Burns has been out of the ring for almost eight months and I am willing to throw a few quid down that Gonzalez can spring a surprise at the Emirates Arena.

Elsewhere this weekend we have another world title fight on British shores as Jamie McDonnell goes for IBF bantamweight glory against Julio Ceja.

McDonnell proved himself as the best bantam in the country by beating Stuart Hall for the British, European and Commonwealth titles back in 2011. And like Burns the Yorkshireman is another who has got his career right back on track after two early losses threatened to derail it.

McDonnell is a very correct, smooth boxer with a fine jab and a brilliant engine. At 27 he is at the peak of his powers too but in Ceja I fear he is biting off more than he can chew.

The 20-year-old Mexican has won all 24 pro fights and of those only two men have heard the final bell. He turned pro at 16 in obscurity but has battled his way to this shot and I don't see him being fazed by a partisan crowd at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster.

By all accounts Ceja was a dynamite amateur and is a fighter with power in both fists. It's a fascinating fight but one I see Ceja winning in sensational style in about four rounds.


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