Ricky Burns hopes to fight Mzonke Fana for IBF title

By Phil GoodladBBC Scotland

Ricky Burns remains hopeful that his dream unification bout against Mzonke Fana could yet be staged this summer.

The 28-year-old Scot holds the WBO super-featherweight title and hopes to add the South African's IBF version.

"He had to box his mandatory defence but that fight fell through so there is a chance that the unification fight could happen this year," said Burns.

"I said after the last fight that that was the fight I wanted so hopefully my manager can get it sorted for me."

The man tasked with arranging the bout, possibly an open-air fight at Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium, is Alex Morrison, Burns' manager.

Prior to that, though, Burns will make a third defence of his title in Liverpool on 16 July, but would not be drawn on the identity of his opponent, though it is thought to be Nicky Cook.

The 31-year-old Dagenham boxer beat Alex Arthur to win the WBO crown in 2008 but lost it to Roman Martinez the following year.

And it was Martinez, of course, who Burns defeated to win the belt in Glasgow last year.

Burns told BBC Scotland: "A press conference has been arranged for next week so we will find out a bit more then.

"I know there were a couple of names mentioned but I'm not allowed to give away anything until it has been officially announced.

"Nicky Cook was one of the names mentioned. Who knows if it is going to be him or not?"

Burns has grown accustomed to the clamour for his autograph and photo when out and about in Coatbridge and in Glasgow, but, as ever, prefers to play down the attention in favour of focusing on his task in Liverpool.

"I am getting used to the status and the attention of being world champion, especially the media side of it. But I am still just taking things as they come," he added.

"From what I have been hearing, I'm going to have a good crowd going down with me.

"It doesn't matter who I am going to be facing on 16 July.

"I am just going to treat it the same as I have treated every other fight and hopefully I can come out of there with the victory.

"A boxing ring is a boxing ring; I'm not really fussed where I go."