Ricky Burns v Julius Indongo: Namibian plans to take advantage of Scot's 'flaws'

By Keir MurrayBBC Scotland
World super-lightweight unification: Ricky Burns (WBA) v Julius Indongo (IBF)
Venue: SSE Hydro, Glasgow Date: 15 April
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra, text commentary and fight report on BBC Sport website

Namibia's Julius Indongo plans to take advantage of the flaws he says he has seen in Ricky Burns.

The IBF world super-lightweight champion and Coatbridge fighter Burns, who holds the WBA version at 10st, meet in a unification bout in Glasgow on Saturday.

"He is making a lot of mistakes," the undefeated 34-year-old former Olympian told BBC Scotland.

"If he is not aware of those mistakes, I feel pity for him."

Indongo fought abroad many times as an amateur, but the bout in front of a partisan crowd at the Hydro will be only his second contest outside Namibia as a professional.

His only other foreign fight came in December when he stunned the previously unbeaten IBF champion Eduard Troyanovsky in Moscow within a minute. That took the tall southpaw's record to 21 wins in as many fights, 11 of which have come by way of knockout.

Speaking after taking part in a public workout in Glasgow city centre, Indongo revealed that his country's president, Hage Geingob, had contacted him about the contest.

"I have been sent on a mission by my president, and also by the force, because I work as a police officer," he said.

"I received his blessing and he recommended that I should always keep my guard. He is a man of sport and loves sport very much.

"It is no pressure. It is an honour. I have been given a privilege and I have to take that responsibility.

How the champions compare
Burns (Scotland)Indongo (Namibia)
Current WBA super-lightweight champion (previously champion at Commonwealth super-featherweight, WBO world super-featherweight, WBO world lightweight)TitlesCurrent IBF super-lightweight champion (previously Namibian lightweight champion and WBO Africa super-lightweight champion)
Won 41 Lost 5 Drawn 1RecordWon 21 Lost 0 Drawn 0
361Rounds boxed113
5ft 10inHeight5ft 10.5in

The gently spoken fighter claims Namibian boxing can teach the rest of the world a thing or two and that he will win over the Scottish crowd.

He said: "The fans will not be a problem because I believe in my self-confidence and feel I can silence them and I can turn them to my side because I will give them a right show.

"They must have no doubts about African boxers.

"We have a promotion in Namibia that is taking boxing to another level in the world. We can fight anywhere. Getting a world championship when you are from Africa is not easy.

"I am now representing the whole of Africa and want to show that Africa has potential, especially Namibia. We are the best boxers."

Ricky Burns during an open workout at Glasgow's St Enoch Centre
Burns turns 34 on Thursday

Indongo turned pro after the 2008 Olympics and has been guided to the world title by his coaching team of Nestor Tobias, Joseph Anhindi and Imms Paulus.

"It has cost me a lot of years to get to such a level," said the IBF champion, who cites Manny Pacquiao, Carl Froch and Cuba's Guillermo Rigondeaux as boxers he admires.

"You have to be disciplined and self-confident and work with the right people and in the right environment."

Reflecting on his sensational win against Troyanovsky, Indongo said he identified that the title holder was slow and that his other opponents had shown fear.

"You can't step into the ring with your mother's heart," he said. "Against Ricky Burns I will follow the flow. I will go according to how the fight will lead me.

"I am a very intelligent boxer. I am always keeping my opponent busy. Box him or fight him. It just depends on the night, so that's why we have prepared for all."

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