Hearn: Make of break for Burns
Ricky Burns faces a make-or-break test in his comeback fight following his world-title defeat, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
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The 31-year-old faces unbeaten Montenegrin Dejan Zlaticanin on June 27 at Braehead Arena in a WBC eliminator, in his first fight since losing his WBO lightweight title to Terence Crawford.
The unanimous points loss followed two unconvincing defences and Hearn knows the Coatbridge fighter needs to answer his critics, even if his confidence does not appear to have been hit.
Hearn said: "We had a meeting a couple of weeks after the Crawford fight and I told him the thing to do now was to get a fight to position himself for a world title fight.
"In short I said I wanted him to go out and win and look fantastic because that's something he hasn't been doing lately.
"The last thing he needed was to go into another deep fight like Crawford because, although he doesn't appear to have low confidence he should do because of the performances he's had.
"Any normal person would look at them and say 'I haven't boxed well' and your confidence wouldn't be that great, but he's happy to fight anyone."
Burns split with trainer Billy Nelson after the defeat and is now working in Essex under Tony Sims.
Hearn added: "Ricky is on the comeback trail to a world title shot, he's got a new trainer, so this is all about putting what he's learned into practice, getting his confidence back, and showing people he's still there.
"And he might not be. Maybe he goes out and struggles against this kid. He could quite easily lose to this kid because he can fight.
"If he's still got it he'll look good against this kid, who'll come forward and forward and just think 'what an opportunity'.
"But really Ricky Burns should take care of him, but if he doesn't then it's over.
"This is the acid test - it's make or break."