Burns focused on Gonzalez
Ricky Burns insists he will not let his hopes of future fights in the United States put him off track as he prepares to square up to Jose Gonzalez.
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The WBO world lightweight champion will welcome the Puerto Rican to Scotland next week for their May 11 bout at Glasgow's 10,000-capacity Emirates Arena - his first since switching to Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Sport promotions company.
But the 30-year-old from Coatbridge has been tipped for potential big-money meetings with WBC champion Adrien Broner or Miguel Vazquez, holder of the IBF title, should he retain his strap for a third time by beating Gonzalez.
Vegas has also been suggested as a potential venue for the unification superfights but Burns is adamant that he can't afford to take his eye off his next opponent given the mandatory challenger's 17 knock-outs from an unblemished 22-fight record.
"There is talk of unification fights and I know Eddie is keen to build my profile back up in Scotland and bring the big names over to Glasgow," said Burns.
"But I need to win on May 11 to keep those alive. I always say it's one fight at a time. I never look beyond anyone. Gonzalez has got my full attention for now."
He added: "I can't look past Gonzalez. It's going to be a tough fight. Although we can't get much footage of the boy, there is clips on YouTube of him knocking boys out.
"He is a big puncher. He's got 22 wins, 17 by way of knock out, so his record speaks for itself.
"I know whatever happens on the night, I'm going to be prepared for it. The training and the sparring has gone well, so whatever happens will happen."
Two-weight world champion Burns tore up his contract with former promoter Frank Warren to switch to Hearn's stable and the new man is already busy making plans.
"We have got some audacious plans for Ricky but they don't mean anything if he slips up against Gonzalez," he warned, however. "Gonzalez is a huge puncher so Ricky has to be on the ball.
"But Ricky is a two-weight world champion and has achieved a hell of a lot in the sport already. But the bottom line is that he has to win next week.
"All the talk of Vazquez and Broner and unification fights mean nothing if we can't get past Gonzalez. We want these bigger fights but first things first. And he has to look good doing it. This will be shown all over the world, so he has to do the business."
Amongst Hearn's plans are ambitions to take Burns Stateside.
But the promoter says jaunts abroad can wait while Burns continues to capture the adulation of the Scottish public.
He said: "If the package is right and the fight is right, Ricky won't have a problem going to the States. If we can get the big fights over here and turn Ricky into a box-office fighter, that can happen. But in the meantime there is no reason why he can't stay in Scotland for the next two or even three fights.
"When you can sell seven or eight thousand tickets and create an atmosphere like Ricky can, why would you want to go anywhere else in the meantime? You need that backing, you need that support, so let's have two or three big nights for Scottish boxing.
"After that, maybe we will go to Vegas and have a great night over there. But the short term plan is to grow Ricky again over here."
Burns has not fought since beating Kevin Mitchell in September last year after his last two fights were called off at short notice.
A scheduled bout with Vazquez was due to take place this month but was axed after the Scot split with Warren, after the initial date was postponed, while a date with Jose Ocampo in December was also called off at short notice.
But Burns insists he is ready for Gonzalez, even if he refuses to study his opponent in too much depth. He has left trainer Billy Nelson to watch Gonzalez's tapes, insisting he prefers to work out how the 29-year-old operates in their exchanges.
"Is it a gamble? Not at all," said Burns. "It's just the way I've always been so I've trained for this fight exactly the same way I have done for any other.
"I just need to get in there and get on with it. The best man will win on the night and I'm confident I've done all I can to prepare properly so hopefully I'll go out there and get the win."