'We will come again': Ricky Burns vows to continue after comprehensive Julius Indongo defeat

George Flood
Ricky Burns and Julius Indongo

Ricky Burns appears to have no intention of retiring from boxing following his emphatic defeat to Julius Indongo on Saturday night (15 April). "Rickster" lost his WBA belt and failed to unify the super-lightweight division on home territory at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow after being comprehensively outclassed by Namibia's undefeated IBF and IBO champion.

Overmatched from the outset, a notably gun-shy Burns could not find a way to hurt Indongo, who was fighting professionally outside of his home country for only the second time after a shock 40-second knockout of Russia's Eduard Troyanovsky in Moscow in December.

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The endlessly awkward southpaw, still something of an unknown quantity heading into the fight, utilised his power and range to superb effect and deservedly claimed a unanimous decision victory after the three judges returned scorecards of 120-108, 118-110 and, somewhat controversially, 116-112.

"The better man won," 34-year-old Burns, a former super-featherweight and lightweight world title-holder who became a three-weight champion by stopping Michele di Rocco in May 2016, told Sky Sports after suffering his sixth loss in 48 pro bouts.

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"No excuses. He was so, so awkward. We didn't know what we were getting ourselves in for. He was a lot, lot better than we thought he was going to be.

"He can hit as well. Here we go again - I'm going to have all the doubters saying Ricky Burns is finished. Me and [trainer] Tony [Sims] will sit down with [Matchroom promoter] Eddie [Hearn] and work out the next bit. We will come again.

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"The plan was in the first few rounds to feel his power. I knew he could hit, but we just wanted to take the sting out of him. But the height and reach advantage...he was always out of distance or I was missing."

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Hearn added: "Whenever you're fighting in a unification fight you'll come up against great fighters. We had hoped Indongo wasn't that good and it wasn't Ricky's greatest performance. Indongo punched very hard, had great footwork and was an awkward southpaw. He was too good for Ricky. It was a very frustrating fight."

"Blue Machine" Indongo, a former Olympian who reached the last 32 of the men's lightweight boxing competition at Beijing 2008, predicted that the entire nation of Namibia would be afforded the chance to revel in his impressive triumph.

"I feel very proud," he said. "I believe the whole country will get the whole day off. I'm very happy to Eddie Hearn, I'm very proud of him for opening the doors and allowing the world to see me."

On the undercard, Scott Cardle lost his British lightweight title to Robbie Barrett and Charlie Edwards became the new domestic super-flyweight champion courtesy of a dominant points win over Iain Butcher. Josh Kelly began his professional career by beating Jay Byrne and fellow 2016 Team GB Olympian Lawrence Okolie recorded his second successive first-round knockout against Lukasz Rusiewicz.

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