Scotsman Burns to defend world title against unbeaten Gonzalez in Glasgow
12:04 GMT, 26 March 2013
12:19 GMT, 26 March 2013
Ricky Burns will defend his WBO lightweight world title against Jose Gonzalez at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on May 11.
The Scot, who recently defected from Frank Warren to rival promoter Eddie Hearn, has been out of action since beating Kevin Mitchell last September.
Burns, 29, had been due to face IBF champion Miguel Vazquez in London before switching promoters.
On home soil: Ricky Burns will defend his world title in Glasgow in May
Burns had little choice but to face Gonzalez after the WBO threatened to strip him of the title if he looked elsewhere.
The governing body set a deadline of midnight last night and Eddie Hearn and Gonzalez’s promoter Peter Rivera agreed terms and contracts were signed.
'I’m really looking forward to May 11,' said Burns. 'He’s a big puncher with a great KO record, but I’ve been in with big punchers before and that doesn’t worry me in the slightest. It’s great to have the date and name sorted now so I can just focus on getting myself in great shape for a big night in Glasgow.'
Gonzalez, 29, has won all 22 of his professional contests, with 17 coming inside the distance.
'I'm very glad for this opportunity and it’s a dream come true fighting for the world tittle as the mandatory challenge,' he said. 'I'm not worried about fighting in Burns’ homeland. I'm preparing greatly for this fight and I'm sure I will bring the world title to my country.'
Hearn added: 'It’s been a tough few days and we’ve had plenty of obstacles to overcome, but I’m delighted to bring Jose Gonzalez to Glasgow for what I feel will be the beginning of a new era for Scottish boxing.
'Gonzalez is ranked No 1 in the world, undefeated and comes with a dangerous reputation. It’s imperative that we deal with our mandatory challenger to pave the way for big unification clashes but I believe Ricky will face his toughest test yet on May 11.
'We need the support of all the Scottish people as we begin a new journey and cannot wait to raise the roof of the stunning new Emirates Arena.'