Broner claims he offered Burns world title fight in London… with just TWO days notice
14:37 GMT, 13 December 2012
American world champion Adrien Broner has sensationally challenged Ricky Burns to a unification clash at just TWO days notice.
Burns was due to defend his WBO lightweight title against first Liam Walsh and then Jorge Ocampo but both pulled out, leaving the Scot without an opponent for Saturday's show at the Excel in London.
Ready to rumble: Adrien Broner claims he wanted to fight Ricky Burns with just two days notice
But Broner, who won the WBC belt against Antonio DeMarco last month and is regarded by many as boxing's successor to Floyd Mayweather Jnr, claims he would fly to London to take on the Scot.
'I found out, Burns doesn't have an opponent so I told them: “Fly me out today, I will make weight and I will beat that guy”,' he told ES News.
Broner previously replaced Burns as the WBO super-featherweight champion before failing to make weight for his defence against Vicente Escobedo in July.
The 23-year-old has long claimed that Burns vacated rather than face the rising star of American boxing but Burns insists he gave up the title as he could no longer comfortably make the weight.
He subsequently won the interim version of his current belt by beating Michael Katsidis at Wembley Arena last November before successful defences against Paulus Moses and British rival Kevin Mitchell.
Burns' original opponent for his third defence, unbeaten Walsh, was ruled out after being involved in a car crash before Filipino southpaw Ocampo withdrew at the last minute over contractual issues.
Burns turned down a 10-round exhibition bout and is instead expected to return to action on January 26 in Glasgow while Broner is being lined up to co-feature alongside Johnathan Banks' rematch with Seth Mitchell the following month.
Without an opponent: Ricky Burns was due to headline Saturday's bill in London
But, assuming the American does not make the unlikely last-minute dash across the Atlantic, Burns could meet Broner as early as February, according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
'I am trying to do the Burns fight [with Broner,]' he told ESPN. '[I'll be] talking again with [Burns' promoter] Frank Warren. I am going to try and convince him to go directly to Broner for February 16.'
Burns' trainer Billy Nelson meanwhile believes Burns would relish the chance to unify the division.
'If a unification fight can be made up at lightweight, we’d snap their hands off,' he said last month. 'That’s the fight we want, trust me. Broner has an act but acts don’t hurt you. Words don’t hurt you.
'Punches hurt you, as Broner will discover if ever he gets inside a ring with Ricky. Whatever happens, I don’t think we’ll be watching anything Ricky will lose sleep over. Neither could cope with his range, speed or body shots.
'He’ll get the fright of his life when he sees the size of Ricky then has to cope with his industry, speed and strength.'