Ricky Burns victory could pave way for world title shot
The Scot faces a 'make or break' fight against Anthony Crolla in Manchester.
Ricky Burns has been told he could be in line for another crack at a world title if he defeats Anthony Crolla in Manchester.
Burns has dropped to lightweight for the all-British bout on October 7 as both fighters try to rebuild their careers after recent defeats.
Burns lost his WBA super lightweight title to Julius Indongo in April, while Crolla was defeated by Jorge Linares in March.
Crolla and Burns have been tipped for a meeting in the ring several times over the years and now promoter Eddie Hearn has said the winner will be well placed for another shot at a title.
This will be Burns' first fight outside of Scotland for almost two years.
The pair - who used to be sparring partners - are good friends but this will be put to one side come fight night.
Burns is confident he can enjoy a big night at the Manchester Arena and open up a new chapter in his career.
He said: "All I seem to be getting now from people is: 'When are you going to retire?' I still have another couple of years left in me. Nobody would know more than myself if it was time to call it a day.
"We're bringing in a dietitian - we start with him next week. He will be keeping me on track and making sure the weight is coming down gradually and properly so I don't see coming back down to lightweight as an issue.
"I have had some big nights in this division, I still have a few big nights left in me yet and I'm confident October 7 will be one."
Crolla said: "Ricky and I sparred together years ago - the last time was either 2009 or 2010. We've done quite a few rounds together. Since then we've both improved as fighters and have a lot more experience.
"There was talk of us fighting in 2011 but it'll be a better fight now. We're both more hungry and better than we have ever been.
"I look at every fight as a must-win but certainly the winner of this one is almost guaranteed another world title shot."
He added: "The loser has two choices - to retire or take that tough old road back to try to climb up to that level again.
"Me, personally, I believe I am still improving and I'm confident of winning."