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Friday, December 9th, 2016

Ricky Burns attempts to take WBO Super Featherweight Title from Roman Martinez

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Ricky Burns will try to take the WBO Super Featherweight Championship from holder Roman “Rocky” Martinez on Sept. 4th in Burns’ hometown of Glasgow, Scotland. While Burns has home-ring advantage, the hard-hitting Martinez from Puerto Rico has already won in the UK before.

The 27-year-old Martinez, at 24-0 with 15Kos, is unbeaten and has the heavier punch. He won the title when he stopped Briton Nicky Cook in Manchester in the fourth round back in March 2009. Martinez is quite aggressive as well as heavy-handed, but isn’t considered by most boxing experts to be an elite world champion. Cook came close to dropping him during the second round of their fight and was outboxing him when the champion landed some big shots to stop it in the fourth.

Burns, who’s also 27, isn’t much of a power puncher as his record of 28-2, with 7Kos attests to, but he’s a fast, smart boxer who has won 13 fights in a row. He can’t afford to get into a toe-to-toe slugfest with Martinez as he doesn’t have the power. Look for Burns to stick and move, jab, and keep his hands up.
Burns has never been knocked out, but has sometimes looked pretty shaky while being pressured in previous fights. He’s going to have to show a pretty solid chin to Martinez if he hopes to withstand the champion’s power.

Look for Martinez to try and take the fight to Burns from the get-go and impose his will with some heavy shots. Martinez is pretty good at moving forwards with his hands held up and establishes his jab to set up solid right hands and heavy hooks. He’s also got a pretty good left uppercut that Burns will need to watch out for.

Burns will need to counter with jabs, right hands, and flurries and try to win as many rounds as possible. He’s also going to have to rise to the occasion of a big-fight atmosphere and with a fanatical Scottish crowd behind him it could help. But on the other hand he might wilt under the added pressure and expectations of his supporters.

Burns is a good boxer, but he might not have enough power to keep Martinez off of him. However, Martinez can often be outboxed and it’s possible to beat him on points if you can withstand his power. This is what makes this fight a pretty close one to pick. It’s probably going to be Martinez by stoppage or Burns on points. Since Burns hasn’t been stopped before let’s assume he’s going to get by and win the title by a 12-round split decision.

Sportsbook William Hill has Martinez as a pretty solid favourite with the odds of him winning at 2/9. A Burns’ victory is at 3/1 and a draw comes in at 25/1, which may not be a bad bet. Martinez to win on a stoppage is listed at 7/4 and Burns to take a decision comes in at 7/2.

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