Ricky Burns was looking for redemption after his latest loss, but this was not meant to be, as Dejan Zlaticanin defeated the former WBO lightweight champion in a split decision in Glasgow, Scotland.
Live Fight provided a look at the scores of the narrow win:
Interestingly, both boxers had hometown judges that scored the victory for their respective fighters, but American judge Gerald Ritter made the difference in favor of Zlaticanin.
The undefeated fighter improves to 19-0 in his career while securing the vacant WBC International lightweight title. This puts him in position to take on Omar Figueroa for the main WBC belt in the future.
This match started off with a bang, as Zlaticanin knocked down Burns with a huge left hand in the first 15 seconds, as captured by Live Fight:
First Class Boxing points out that this was a big start for the fighter from Montenegro:
Zlaticanin continued to pile on with the strong overall effort that did its part to impress the judges, according to Fight News:
At this point, Scottish footballer James McArthur was one of many pulling for the hometown fighter to recover:
While Burns held strong with his punches, the big shots are what kept hurting him physically and on the scorecards. Still, it remained close throughout, and it ended up coming down to a split decision. Unfortunately for the former champion, he was on the losing side of the judges' ruling.
This was a big match for Burns, who was coming off a disappointing loss to Terence Crawford in March. However, he was still confident after a change in routine, via The Guardian:
Switching trainers and moving down south has made me more hungry and more determined. I've got a point to prove to myself that I have another world title in me. After the last fight people were saying 'Ricky is finished, he's found his level, he has overachieved'.
Do you know, throughout my career I have never ever said I'm going to do this or that, I've just taken one fight at a time and got on with it. Freshening things up has brought my hunger back. I'm actually enjoying boxing more now. It's a great bunch of guys to train with and the sparring is top quality.
This change did not seem to help him too much, because he was unable to redeem himself from his last loss. He will now have plenty of question marks about what happens going forward in his career as another title fight might be a long way away.
Kenny Crawford of BBC Sport provided post-fight quotes from Eddie Hearn about the next step:
On the other hand, this is quite a day for Zlaticanin, according to Crawford:
The talented fighter earned arguably the biggest win of his career and is starting to prove that he could be a legitimate contender in the lightweight division.
If he can continue to showcase the same type of strong left hooks that were on display against Burns, the sky is the limit for the 30-year-old boxer.
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