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Burns left devastated after world title hopes blown apart

ESPN staff
June 27, 2014 « Tiger misses just 11th career cut | WILL TEST Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Ricky Burns failed to recover against Dejan Zlaticanin © PA Photos
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Ricky Burns was too devastated to speak following his shock split-decision points defeat to Dejan Zlaticanin on Friday and promoter Eddie Hearn admitted the Scot's world title aspirations are all but over.

Burns managed to last the full 12 rounds against despite being knocked down inside the first minute. He finished the headline fight at Braehead Arena well, but it was not enough to secure victory as he went down 115-113 113-115 115-113 in a split decision.

"He is absolutely devastated because he should be beating people like that. He is in tears," Hearn said afterwards.

"I said before the fight that if he was to lose it's the end of his world title ambitions. I 100 per cent stand by that.

"So I think we have to look domestically for a fight that gets him back in the mix. He has just said there that he wants to get back in the gym, it's all he ever thinks about."

Zlaticanin, whose wife gave birth earlier in the day, came flying out of the blocks and caught Burns on the chin after just 15 seconds to silence the Scottish crowd.

Burns edged his way back into the fight timidly before coming back late on, but it was not enough to salvage victory over the unbeaten Montenegrin (18-0), who may now get a world title shot.

For 31-year-old Burns, it is now three fights without a win.

"There's no suggestion that he doesn't want to continue," Hearn added. "He is not an old man and he is physically really fit and there are exciting domestic fights out there. Take nothing away from Dzlaticanin but Ricky should be winning that kind of fight.

"He kept making the same kind of mistakes. He was a decent fighter but I can't see him winning a world title."

Earlier in the night, 35-year-old Willie Limond achieved his career-long dream to win the British light-welterweight title with a stylish points victory over Curtis Woodhouse.

"It's taken me 13 years to get it," Limond told Sky Sports. "It was a great fight and Curtis pushed me all the way. I think I needed Curtis to do that to make me perform.

"I think I just caught him off balance a bit. That was 12 weeks. I knew I had to train hard because I knew Curtis was fit.

"I'd watched every one of Curtis' fights since he'd turned pro. I feel I performed the best I could at the age I'm at."

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