Ricky Burns fully focused on Jose Gonzalez challenge

WBO world lightweight champion Ricky Burns

Ricky Burns insists he will not let talk of unification bouts distract him as he prepares to meet Jose Gonzalez.

Burns will make the third defence of his WBO world lightweight belt against the Puerto Rican in Glasgow on 11 May.

"There is talk of unification fights and I know [promoter] Eddie Hearn is keen to build my profile in Scotland and bring big names over," he said.

"But I need to win to keep [that talk] alive. I never look beyond anyone, Gonzalez has got my full attention."

The contest at the 10,000-capacity Emirates Arena will be Burns's first since switching to Hearn's Matchroom Sport promotions company.

Ricky Burns
Ricky Burns defeated Kevin Mitchell in September

And the 30-year-old from Coatbridge has been tipped for potential big-money meetings with WBC champion Adrien Broner or Miguel Vazquez, holder of the IBF title, should he defeat Gonzalez.

But Burns is adamant he cannot under-estimate the mandatory challenger, who has an unblemished 22-fight record.

"I can't look past Gonzalez," he added. "It's going to be a tough fight. Although we can't get much footage of the boy, there are clips on YouTube of him knocking boys out.

"He is a big puncher. He's got 22 wins, 17 by way of knockout, so his record speaks for itself.

"I'm going to be prepared for whatever happens on the night and the training and the sparring has gone well."

Burns split from Frank Warren to switch to Hearn's stable and his new promoter has high hopes for a bright future.

"We have got some audacious plans for Ricky but they don't mean anything if he slips up against Gonzalez," he warned.

"Gonzalez is a huge puncher so Ricky has to be on the ball.

"But Ricky is a two-weight world champion and has achieved a lot in the sport already. But the bottom line is [that] he has to win next week.

Adrien Broner
WBC champion Adrien Broner could be a future opponent for Ricky Burns

"All the talk of Vazquez and Broner and unification fights mean nothing if we can't get past Gonzalez. We want these bigger fights but first things first. And Ricky has to look good doing it. This will be shown all over the world, so he has to do the business."

Burns, who has won 35 of his 37 professional contests, has not fought since beating Kevin Mitchell in September last year because his last two planned fights were both called off at short notice.

But the Scot insists he is ready for Gonzalez, even if he does not study his opponent in too much depth. He has let trainer Billy Nelson watch Gonzalez's tapes, insisting he prefers to work out how the 29-year-old operates in their exchanges.

"Is it a gamble? Not at all," explained Burns. "It's just the way I've always been so I've trained for this fight exactly the same way I have done for any other.

"I just need to get in there and get on with it. The best man will win on the night and I'm confident I've done all I can to prepare properly so hopefully I'll go out there and get the win."

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