The Puerto Rican travels to Scotland confident of upsetting the Coatbridge star, and despite a formidable KO record of 17 from 22 fights, the unbeaten mandatory challenger says he’s prepared to go the distance to rip the title from Burns’ hands.
“I’ve been able to get a lot of knockouts through my power but on May 11 I have to box as well as Ricky Burns from the first bell until the last,” said Gonzalez. “The fans over there can expect to see me at my best and be pleased with the show that they’re going to see. We know we’ve got a tough fight and it’ll be very hard to win on points in Scotland but we will be victorious.
“Burns is a fighter that likes to take the initiative, so I have to fight like him. If he throws lots of punches, then I’ll throw lots of punches as well. We’re doing work to show the judges that I can win the fight round by round.”
A year younger than Burns at 29, WBO Latino champion Gonzalez has pin-pointed Burns’ hitting the deck in the opening round against ‘Rocky’ Roman Martinez to win the belt in September 2010 as an area he can attack.
“Rocky had him down with a good shot but Burns showed that he’s a skilled boxer,” said Gonzalez. “If I hurt Ricky I will finish him off.
“I’m relaxed in my training, normal, like all my 22 fights, but maybe with more intensity. I think that we don’t have to change anything, just the fight plan, but that is work for my team. I’m very focused in training and to work in my skills.”
With Burns taking the title from a Puerto Rican in Martinez, Gonzalez sees May 11 as the perfect chance to exact revenge on the Scotsman and join some illustrious names in the history books.
“This fight could change my life and the life of my family, my children – I do all this for them,” said Gonzalez. “Puerto Rico is a country that is very proud of their boxing champions. Guys like Wilfredo Benitez, Felix Trinidad, Miguel Cotto, Ivan Calderon and Juanma Lopez, these are names I’d be very proud to be among.
“I know I’m going to fight in his home, but in the ring will be only Burns and me. I just want to beat him and bring the title to Puerto Rico. I feel really good and very happy to be fighting for a world title because it’s a dream for all boxers to be a World champion. It can make one feel very proud and make one’s family feel proud too. I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity and give a great show over in Scotland.”
Burns third title defence against Gonzalez tops a great bill of action in Glasgow as John Simpson faces Choi Tseveenpurev for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental super featherweight title, top Scottish talent including unbeaten trio David Brophy, Jon Slowey and Stephen Simmons, who takes on Michael Sweeney in a ten round Celtic cruiserweight clash, and some of Matchroom Boxing’s brightest young stars.
Tickets for Betfair’s ‘Fighting Pride of Scotland’ are on sale now. Tickets are priced £40 upper tier, £60 lower tier and floor seats, £100 ringside and £200 VIP (all tickets subject to booking fee). Tickets are available through the Emirates Arena at www.emiratesarena.co.uk, Matchroom Boxing at www.matchroomboxing.com and by phone on 0141 353 8000.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Ricky Burns
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