Current WBA super lightweight champion and Coatsbridge native Ricky Burns will face off against IBF & IBO champion Julius Indongo in a unification match this Saturday night in Glasgow, Scotland.
Burns comes into this clash as a -200 favorite, with the buyback on Indongo around +175.
Since his loss three years ago to p4p superstar Terence Crawford, Burns has endured a hectic few years. Losses to former WBC champion Dejan Zlaticanin and Omar Figueroa Jr. had the Glaswegian teetering on retirement, but he has since come back strong. Picking up the vacant WBA super lightweight title against Michele Di Rocco last year in only his third fight after the Figueroa defeat showed tremendous determination on Burn’s part and a recent defence of his belt against Kiryl Relikh has Burn’s right back in the mix again at super lightweight.
Julius Indongo has been somewhat of a late bloomer to boxing. Having only fought his first pro fight at the age of 26, he has since went on to amass a record of 21-0 and picked up the WBO Africa, IBO world and IBF world titles in the process. Despite not having many household names on his resume and only fighting outside of Africa once, his one round destruction of Russian veteran Eduard Troyanovsky in Moscow last December highlighted to the world what the savvy southpaw is capable of on the right night.
In terms of how I see this matchup playing out, I think it could be a long night for Ricky Burns. Burn’s often uses his greater height and reach to his advantage, employing a long straight jab that keeps opponents at length. This was a style he used in all of his biggest victories to date, namely against Kevin Mitchell, Michael Katsidis and his narrow loss to Omar Figueroa, which many observers believed he won. Burns won’t enjoy any such advantage in this fight as Indongo comes into this fight the taller man of the two and is extremely adept at using range himself. With a noticeable power gap also apparent between the two men, I believe the wrong fighter is favored in this fight and getting Julius Indongo at +175 constitutes tremendous value.
While Scotland is never the easiest place to go and get a decision (as Raymundo Beltran can no doubt attest to), Indongo has already travelled to Moscow to take on a home town favorite there, so I doubt he’ll be over-awed by this occasion either.
While the fight may be close in spots and Ricky Burns has enough ring savvy to take this fight into the later rounds, Julius Indongo definitely has enough technical ability to get the win here and unify the belts for a future matchup against Terence Crawford sometime in the near future.
Pick: Julius Indongo by Decision