Ricky Burns vs Michele Di Rocco Preview May 28th
Former World Champion Ricky Burns of Scotland will be taking on former European Champion Michele Di Rocco of Italy for the vacant WBA Junior Welterweight Championship this Saturday, May 28th at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. It’s hard to understand why this is a title fight since Burns is ranked number seven by the WBO while Di Rocco is ranked number one. The second to sixth-ranked boxers have a legitimate reason to be unhappy with this especially since Burns has lost two of his last fights. The Scotsman last fought in November when he stopped Josh King in the 11th round while Di Rocco stopped Alexandre Lepelley in the eighth round a year ago. This 12-round bout can be seen live in the UK on Sky Sports.
Burns vs Di Rocco Betting Odds
- Michele Di Rocco +295
- Ricky Burns -360
The 33-year-old Burns will climb into the ring with a record of 39-5-1 along with 13 Kos while the 34-year-old Di Rocco is an impressive 40-1-1 with 18 Kos to his name. Burns five losses have been to Alex Arthur by 12-round unanimous decision in 2006, Carl Johanneson by 12-round unanimous decision in 2007, Terence Crawford by unanimous decision in 2014, Dejan Zlaticanin by 12-round split decision in 2014, and to Omar Figueroa Jr. last year by another 12-round unanimous decision. He also fought to a controversial 12-round split decision draw with Raymundo Beltran in 2013 in a fight many experts had Beltran winning.
Burns only victories in the past couple of years have been against the likes of King, Prince Ofotsu and Lepelley so it’s hard to see why he’s been given a title shot especially when Ruslan Provodnikov is ranked number three. Di Rocco’s hasn’t really faced any elite opponents during his career, which he began in 2004. Some of his most recent opponents include Lepelley, Ruben Nieto, Ville Piispanen, Lazlo Robert Balogh, Lazlo Szekeres and Robert Cristea. So come to think of it, it’s also a bit of a head scratcher as to how Di Rocco is ranked number one by the WBA. Di Rocco has 254 pro rounds under his belt and stands just over 5-feet-7-inches tall with an unlisted reach. His power is average as he has a knockout ratio of 43 per cent. Di Rocco was stopped by Giuseppe Lauri in the seventh round back in 2007 and fought to a six-round draw with Giorgio Marinelli a year earlier.
Burns is a former two-division titleholder at lightweight and junior welterweight and he has a height advantage since he’s 5-feet-10 inches tall with a reach of 70 inches. He’s not much of a power puncher either as his current knockout ratio is just 29 per cent. He turned pro in 2001 and has 341 rounds of pro experience. The Scotsman is undoubtedly a durable veteran who’s beaten the likes of former and current champions such as Roman Martinez, Kevin Mitchell, Paulus Moses and Michael Katsidis. However, he’s not really in the Grade A level as we found out when he faced Crawford and Figueroa.
Burns has a decent chin, but has been down before. He’ll need to use his boxing skills to keep Di Rocco on the back foot as much as possible and make his opponent worry about covering up rather than launching a prolonged attack. Di Rocco hasn’t faced the type of opponents Burns has and he’ll be taking a step up in class here. Burns has the experience and the home crowd advantage and Di Rocco hasn’t fought in a year. Burns should win this fight by a decision, but a late stoppage is also a remote possibility.
Burns should have too much experience for Di Rocco here.
Play: Burns -360 @ BetOnline.ag
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