Junior welterweight world titleholders Ricky Burns and Julius Indongo will meet to unify their belts on April 15 at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced Wednesday.
Burns (41-5-1, 14 KOs), who is from Scotland and a major draw in Glasgow, will be making the second defense of his 140-pound title while Indongo (21-0, 11 KOs) will be making his first.
"Fighting in Glasgow is special for me," said Burns, who will be fighting at the SSE Hydro for the third consecutive bout. "The crowd at the SSE Hydro has been electric the last two occasions and I expect it to be no different this time round. Their support means the world to me. The crowd has always behind me and I want to put in a big performance for them again."
When Adrien Broner failed to make weight for a title defense last April, he was stripped of his world title and Burns knocked out Italy's Michele Di Rocco in the eighth round the following month to win the vacant belt and become the first three-division titleholder from Scotland. Burns retained the title by unanimous decision against mandatory challenger Kiryl Relikh, of Belarus, in October.
Previously unknown to even hard-core boxing fans, Indongo burst onto the world scene on Dec. 3 when he spectacularly obliterated Russia's Eduard Troyanovsky in just 42 seconds in Moscow to win his belt. The fight was Indongo's first outside his home country of Namibia.
"It's a huge fight in the division and the kind of fight I need to be involved in at this stage of my career," said Burns, who has also won world titles at lightweight and junior lightweight. "There were other names talked about but I wanted the toughest, most dangerous fight out there. Indongo with his two belts was that man.
"He is a big, tall, rangy, southpaw, but bring it on. I have no fear of anyone, and it is only the massive fights for me now."
Burns, 33, said he saw Indongo's knockout of Troyanovsky and hoped Hearn could line up the unification fight for him next.
"When Julius Indongo knocked out Eduard Troyanovsky he was immediately an opponent I was interested in," Burns said. "Indongo can clearly punch and that's an impressive way to win a world title, especially in Russia. It was some shot he hit Troyanovsky with."
Indongo, 33, landed only one punch of note against Troyanovsky, a clean overhand left on his chin that flattened him in the center of the ring.
"It's an absolute honor for me to fight Ricky, who I regard as an accomplished champion," Indongo said. "I respect what he has achieved so far but I'm going to Scotland to rob him of his belt. I know it won't be easy but I'm comforted by the fact that I have a good team and passionate Namibian fans, and I have every intention of making them smile and unifying the division on April 15."