Belting night for red-hot Burns as Scot produces fireworks against Mitchell
22:25 GMT, 23 September 2012
In the wee dark hours after Kevin Mitchell congratulated Ricky Burns on belting the living daylights out of him some of their respective fans laid into each other at a hotel near the arena.
They do love a good fight in Glasgow but no brawl in a bar could possibly match the class with which Burns clobbered Mitchell on Saturday night.
This was the opportunity for Burns to claim a place in the pantheon of Scotland’s all-time boxing greats. So spectacularly did he seize the moment that he also stands now in the front rank of current world champions.
Friends: Ricky Burns is congratulated by his defeated opponent Kevin Mitchell.
A fight for the WBO lightweight title which everyone, including the two friends in the ring, expected to be desperately close turned out to be just desperate for the challenger from East London.
Mitchell had the misfortune to bump into his old mate on the night when Burns made the step up from very good to great. He has also grown physically.
Burns, who won the first of his two world titles at super-featherweight, now looks big at lightweight. The extra bulk has brought with it the enhanced punching power which came as such a nasty surprise to Mitchell.
Bigger, faster, stronger: Scotsman Burns (right) dominated Mitchell in Glasgow
Burns was supposed to be the craftsman
and Mitchell the slugger in this clash of styles but the Scot relished
the toe-to-toe exchanges and proved to be the harder hitter.
A modest man, Burns still talks of having much to learn but he is nearer to being the complete box-fighter than he seems to realise.
The only question remaining to be asked after this blistering four-round stoppage of the most dangerous opponent he has faced is how long he will stay at lightweight.
There is money to be made from an all-Scottish clash with Scott Harrison but on this most recent evidence that fight would be over even quicker.
All over: The referee steps in
Harrison, in his second fight of a comeback after a near-seven year absence, looked nothing like the two-time world champion of yore as he toiled to a points win on the under-card.
Burns harbours a real boxing lover’s ambition to add the historic Ring magazine belt to his collection. But the sooner he unifies some of the titles at lightweight, the sooner he can move up to the big money fights at light-welter.
With dynamite now in both fists he will be a danger to anyone. Having shaken Mitchell with big rights while dominating the first three rounds, he floored him with a left in the fourth.
Mitchell got up only to be decked by a wicked right and although his courage enabled him to rise again he had no answer to the ensuing barrage and no argument with the stoppage.
‘My pal was awesome,’ said Mitchell as they left to go their separate ways, him back to the drawing board and an uncertain future, Burns to Las Vegas and the stars.