Ricky "The Rickster" Burns is fortunate to still have his WBO lightweight title. Burns escaped with an odd TKO victory on Saturday at Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland.
After being out-fought and battered by Jose "Chelo" Gonzalez through the first six to seven rounds, the challenger did not answer the bell for the 10th round.
It is unclear whether fatigue or an injury to his wrist caused Gonzalez to retire on his stool. ESPN Boxing clarified the injury, as it was originally thought to be a hand injury that plagued Chelo.
In any case, Burns dodged a major bullet.
Gonzalez's awkwardness and power shots were a problem for Burns most of the fight. But after the seventh round, Gonzalez looked almost totally spent. Burns was tired as well, but he had more gas in the tank than the challenger.
Even with the energy reserve drastically in Burns' favor, if the scorecards were accurate, he may have needed a knockout to win.
We don't know all of the details involved, but it is hard to imagine how a fighter who had so much going for him could quit with just three rounds remaining.
There are always understandable exceptions, but quitting on the stool is one of the toughest things to overcome for a fighter. Unless circumstances were extenuating, Gonzalez stained an otherwise solid performance with this ending.
If he is interested, a rematch makes sense for both fighters. But that is probably not what Burns originally had in mind, as he had his sights set on unifying the lightweight title.
His plans may have to be placed on hold for now. There is still serious doubt as to whom was the better man. Although Burns emerged victorious, this was not the most convincing win of his career.
Follow me, because I love boxing and you do too.