(Paulus Moses, left; Ricky Burns, right)
Ricky Burns contained Paulus Moses in Renfrewshire on Saturday evening to affirm his position in the upper echelons of the lightweight class. The Coatbridge fighter was made to work hard in every round at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow, and while the points margins of 119-110, 120-110 and 117-111 suggested an easy night’s work, in truth, Burns never quite managed to keep the Windhoek policeman in his pocket.
Burns (134 ½) was sharpest off the mark. Establishing his jab from mid-ring, he was able to subdue the visitor who, suddenly finding himself on the other side of a cordon for a change was left to push and reach in response. Moses (133 ¼) increased his pace in the 3rd and backed Burns up into the ropes with long and snaking lefts and rights.
Burns, though, remained a step ahead of him. Boxing nimbly, his superior footwork enabled him to land hard jabs and right hooks while evading retaliation. Moses found his timing in round 6 which did cause Burns to lose his thread temporarily; however, he found it just as quickly as it had left him. The home fighter would snap out a brisk jab and then a double right hand – one to the body and a follow-up over the Namibian’s left shoulder, but the final shot was one that he could never quite land plum.
After a brief tug-o-war in round 8 between Burns’s left and his opponent’s right, Burns eased away down the stretch, eclipsing the single, spearing shots of Moses with better placed and more urgent bursts. It was a solid win and an honest night’s toil from both sides.
Burns is an unfashionable sort — his nickname of “Rickster” is on a par with Ross Gellar’s “The Rossatron” — yet he’s equal part likable and his continuing growth is a testament to his character. In a hot domestic division, Burns remains the chip leader. He’s also ready for a crack at becoming the best lightweight in the world, whoever he may end up arguing his case against once the top trio of Juan Manuel Marquez, Brandon Rios and Robert Guerrero decide which side their bread is better buttered.