Rope Burns: “Rickster” Rocks Di Rocco

By Robert Ecksel on May 28, 2016
Rope Burns: “Rickster” Rocks Di Rocco
Ricky Burns ended it with a right hand. (Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

It was a cat-and-mouse affair and Ricky Burns was the cat. His jab was perfect. His game plan was precise…

They said it couldn’t be done. They said he was too old. Said he was washed-up. He had lost three of his last six fights. Burns was given little chance of beating Di Rocco. But Saturday night at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, former featherweight and lightweight champion Ricky Burns (40-5-1, 14 KOs), TKO’d EBU (European) super lightweight champion Michele Di Rocco (40-2-1, 18 KOs) at 1:57 of round eight to win the vacant WBA World super lightweight title.

With 8,000 Glaswegians cheering him on, Burns also made history as the first Scottish fighter to win world titles in three different divisions.

“The game-plan we set out was to keep it long with jabs and straight rights,” Burns said after the fight. “I couldn’t miss him with it. We didn’t have to get in the second phase of the game-plan.”

It was a cat-and-mouse affair and Ricky Burns was the cat. His jab was perfect. His game plan was precise. The Italian came forward, inexorably, looking for that elusive something just out of reach. Burns delivered straight rights, combinations, and energy-sapping shots to the body. The Scot was economical, but he was precise.

At the end of round three Burns connected with a straight right that dropped Di Rocco to the canvas. He got to his feet. The bell rang.

Burns rattled Di Rocco two rounds later with another punch to the face.

A right hand ended it in the eighth. Di Rocco got unsteadily to his feet at the count of eight, but the stoppage was timely.

“When the fight was stopped I could feel myself welling up,” said Burns after the fight. “My team knew what this meant to me. After everything that’s happened, Eddie Hearn showed faith in me and delivered this big fight.

“I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going on holiday next week but I’ll be constantly checking my phone while I’m away because there are some big fights out there for me now.”

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  1. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:08pm, 05/29/2016

    Rope burns reminds me of a guy I used to work with on the night shift. The lazy bastard would take extra long breaks with one of the honeys on the housekeeping staff. This asshat would try to make me jealous by showing me the rug burns on his elbows and knees…..he said she didn’t want to mess up the beds.

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