Ricky Burns to defend lightweight title in March

Ricky Burns
Burns has made a successful start to life in the lightweight division

Ricky Burns will make the first defence of his WBO interim lightweight belt in Scotland on 10 March 2012.

The Coatbridge boxer's opponent for the fight at Braehead Arena near Glasgow has yet to be decided.

"I belong with the best in the division and next year I hope that I can take on one of the other title holders and unify the belts," said Burns.

"I'll have a rest over Christmas and then I'm back hard in training in January getting ready for March."

Englishman Anthony Crolla has emerged as a possible opponent, but Burns has also said he wants to fight Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico.

Burns claimed his belt by beating Michael Katsidis at Wembley Arena in his first fight in the weight division.

Marquez stepped up to welterweight as he lost out to Manny Pacquiao the week after Burns' victory in November.

"If Marquez vacates, obviously I get made full champion," said Burns, who had also moved up a weight division.

"But I would prefer it if he moved back down. I'd like to win it that way."

At 38, Marquez may opt to retire or try to negotiate a fourth money-spinning meeting with the legendary Pacquiao.

"Win, lose or draw, just to get in the ring with one of the best pound-for-pound fighters would be great for me," added Burns.

"But I'll fight anybody that's put in front of me."

Veteran Marquez is unlikely to find a trip to Scotland appealing but Burns believes there are other high-calibre contenders.

"I know Kevin Mitchell would like a crack at me," said the 28-year-old.

"And there would be the winner of Brandon Rios versus Johnny Murray, who are fighting for the WBA title [on 3 December]."

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