Ricky Burns praised for taking on 'nightmare' opponent Julius Indongo

Ricky Burns and promoter Eddie Hearn
Ricky Burns went against the advice of promoter Eddie Hearn

Promoter Eddie Hearn described Ricky Burns' next opponent as a "nightmare" but praised the world champion for not taking an easier fight.

Burns will defend his WBA super-lightweight title against IBF world champion Julius Indongo on 15 April.

But Hearn wanted him to face a less dangerous foe.

"It's not wrong for him because he can't win the fight, it's just that there were easier options for more money," Hearn said.

"That's why you have to admire him, because he doesn't care about the money, he cares about creating a legacy, about creating history. That's inspirational."

Burns could have defended his world title against the American Paulie Malignaggi, but as soon as Indongo won the IBF belt against Eduard Troyanovsky in Russia, Burns wanted to face the Namibian.

The contest, at The Hydro in Glasgow, will be the first time a unification bout - when each opponent is putting a world title at the same weight on the line - will be held in Scotland.

"To get a unification fight in this division is very difficult, because it's either Terence Crawford [the WBC and WBO super-lightweight champion] or this guy," said Hearn.

"This was one we targeted and, in the meantime, the Malignaggi fights and other fights came up who were bigger names but were easier.

"I'm going to Ricky Burns and saying, 'you can fight this guy for x money or this horrible nightmare for less money, what do you want to do?'.

"And he said, 'I'll fight the horrible guy for less money'. So I thought I'd better phone Alex [Morrison, his manager] to talk him out of this.

Ricky Burns
Ricky Burns is confident of emerging with the two world title belts

"Alex agreed with me 100%, as any advisor would do. He phoned me back 10 minutes later and said, 'it's a complete waste of time, I've spoken to him and this is the only fight he wants'.

"It's a 50/50 fight. You'd like to think Indongo would fold, coming to Glasgow and the crowd, but he just went to Russia and knocked out the champion.

"But Ricky knows what he's doing. He's been around a long time."

Hearn believes that a Burns victory would immediately open up the opportunity of a rematch with Crawford, who defeated the Scot in 2014, with the American's promoters already having made contact with him.

Burns himself, though, is wholly focused on the prospect of facing Indongo and the challenges of preparing for the fight when so little video footage is available of the Namibian.

"I know that it's a much harder fight, a riskier fight, but the rewards are going to be so much better," Burns said. "I've taken the risk, so we'll soon find out.

"There have been a few times in my career when I've proved to myself and to other people that, when I'm up against it, when people are writing me off, that's when I'll always perform to my best.

"Fingers crossed that this is another one of those situations.

"He's tall, big long arms, southpaw. It's going to be a hard fight."

Burns said that his trainer, Tony Sim "has brought in sparring partners who are quite similar, so we're getting the best preparation that we can".

"I'm confident of getting the win," he added.

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