Boxing


Burns beats Moses, the flower of Scotland and the parting of the red sea

By Joe Poulton: I hadn’t watched many tapes of Paulus Moses in the build up to his WBO lightweight title clash with Ricky Burns, but I had according to Burns watched more than he, the champion had. These tactics could have been a ploy, good tactics or just plain stupid and the critics were divided in their opinion on whether this was a good idea or not and on Saturday 10th march in front of 6000 fans at the Braehead Arena Glasgow, we would find out.

Moses a “tough cookie” Namibian had stated in interviews that he respected Burns as champion, that he would perform on the night and that he didn’t prepare for a KO he was prepared for a 12 rounder and with the tactical brains of both fighters proved to be just this. Ricky Burns, maybe had the same idea and no unwise knock out predictions were made from the down to earth likeable champion and after beating the much fancied Michael Katsidis needed another impressive win to really cement his position as the new flag bearer of Scottish Boxing . This title defence to anyone watching would obviously be no push over against a former world Champion with only one loss to his name.

“Glasgow are you ready” bawled master of ceremonies Mark Burdliss before the fighters made there way to the ring, Moses no stranger to hostile environments such as this entered the ring, looking relaxed and even posing for photographs, a large percentage of the crowd were obviously against him but the former WBA champion and Don King fighter was still shown the correct element of respect even though the man himself King was unfortunately no where to be seen. Ricky Burns entered second and looked ready to go, the stage was set and after the announcements (Burns weighing in slightly heavier at 9 stone 8 pounds 8 ounces)and the singing of the Flower of Scotland so loud that the sponsors read out by the master of ceremonies was drowned out, the action was ready to begin.

The bell for the first round sets up the action in a pattern that would repeat itself for not just the first 4 rounds but most of the night, the jabs of both fighters was always going to be a key element in this technical battle but the difference seemed to be Burns incredible movement and footwork that would ultimately nullify the heavier hands of Moses, he also seems to be winning the battle of the jabs which many people pointed out would be the key to success.

Expertly dodging the slashing punches of Moses, Burns had clearly won the first 4 rounds on the judges score cards and had left the challenger looking a little dejected and frustrated. Even in the bigger exchanges Burns still seems to be coming out on top although he would have to be careful, even when his movement failed him he could still expertly cover up but those heavy hands could still test the Burns chin even if he was running away with it.

As the fight progresses the pattern remains the same although there could have been serious danger signs for Burns as in Round 9 Moses Connects with that feared right hand which he has unsuccessfully been trying to get through with all night, however Burns recovers well and adds a good chin to his already growing repertoire of skills. Burns then puts together his own combination that rocks Moses at the end of the round and its clear if you start forcing Moses to take backward steps then you are clearly winning this fight.

As Burns comes off his stool near the end of the match his corner said to him “use your brain” which hits the nail on the head in this performance, using his brain has certainly been the case throughout the whole contest and Moses tried hard but won very little in the end. I had the scores a little closer than some of the judges at 119-112 to Burns but generally everyone seemed pretty satisfied at the end of the unanimous result.

Burns and his team were in jubilant mood post match, they claimed no one in Britain can touch him, bold claims indeed, or maybe a legacy to fulfil and for a division that boasts John Murray, Anthony Crolla and of course Kevin Mitchell plenty of great fights are surely coming Burns’ way. For me it has to be Mitchell in whom we would see the most thrilling and sensible option all round, promoter Francis Warren says it’s “the fight everyone wants to see” and after this performance an England vs Scotland dust up would seem a mouth watering prospect.

Ricky Burns in this performance proved his Phenomenal jab, movement and tactical brain and that he is also clearly growing to the heights of the sport in not just Britain but the world. On this Burns night, the flower of Scotland has blossomed again and he could well and truly be parting the red sea.

Article posted on 12.03.2012



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