by James Slater - Tonight, in Glasgow, UK, 25-year-old Commonwealth super-featherweight champion Ricky Burns of Coatsbridge, Scotland successfully defended his belt with an impressive 7th round stoppage of tough old war horse Michael Gomez of Manchester. Suddenly unleashing with both hands as the 31-year-old had his back to the ropes, Burns sent Gomez to the floor, prompting referee Howard Foster to immediately wave the fight over.
Article posted on 28.03.2009
The official time was just 47 seconds of the 7th round, and the champ improved to 26-2(7). Gomez, who looked a faded force it must be said, fell to 38-10(24) and retirement is surely his only option now.
Before the fight both men, Gomez especially, had talked a lot of trash, and once the bell rang the two got down to business. Gomez, as expected, immediately attacked on the front foot, while taller man Burns timed his man with his jab and with shots to the head, while also letting go with some hard left hands to the body. It was clear very quickly who the faster man was, and it was the 25-year-old.
Gomez continued ploughing in in the 2nd, but he looked flat and slow. Though all his tough battles had evidently caught up with him, Gomez tried his best to make it his night. There was a time-out called and the ref gave Burns a warning for holding. When the action resumed Gomez again battled forwards but he was caught as he did so.
The 3rd round saw more fast combos to the head score for the younger man, and Gomez was starting to take too many. There was a warning given to the 31-year-old for careless use of the head, and in the last 30-seconds or so of the round the two men traded on the inside. So far, Burns had yet to lose a round.
There were loud boos in the 4th, as Foster again warned Burns for holding. There was also a touch of hope on the part of Gomez in the form of a few shots that got home for him. A right hand to the head caught Burns and then a good left uppercut to the jaw hurt him as he was on the ropes. Gomez, by now marked up around the right eye, had what was his best round of the fight.
In the 5th, there was yet another time-out called and this time the ref took a point from Burns for holding. Back into action, the champion fired out some crisp, sharp left jabs to the head. Gomez was once again boring in, and was once again being caught upon doing so. There was some decent body work by Gomez, but then Burns blasted back with clean shots to the head. A real hard battle was shaping up, but it was a case of how much the 31-year-old crowd-pleaser could take.
The 6th saw Gomez, as gutsy as they come, trying his best and getting through with the odd shot to Burns' body and head. But the younger, fresher man soon came back with better work, landing a good left to the head of his challenger. Gomez was now cut at the side of his left eye and he was looking tired. The older man was still banging away, though, forcing himself on.
The end came suddenly in the 7th, as Burns, having his man on the ropes, let loose with a hard right hand to the head. Seeing the effect it had on Gomez, the champion unleashed with both hands and really snapped Gomez's head back with shots. Taking lots of punches, Gomez finally crumbled to the mat, with Foster diving in just as he began his slide to the floor. Waving it off instantly, the ref had no other choice.
An excellent win for Burns, even though it came over a faded Gomez, the victory sets the Scot up for some big future fights. Kevin Mitchell was mentioned post-fight, and that sure would be some great encounter.