Ricky Burns will make the third defence of his WBO world lightweight championship against Jose Ocampo from the Philippines. Burns will headline the December 15th card at the ExCeL Arena in London.

Ocampo, who is moving up in weight to challenge for his first world title, boasts a 17-5-1 record with 12 of his 17 wins coming inside the scheduled distance. Like his fellow countryman, Manny Pacquiao, he is a southpaw with an aggressive style and is said to carry power in both hands.

Ocampo is ranked number 14 in the world by the WBO and, despite having five losses on his record, he has never been stopped.

Originally Burns was set to meet Liam Walsh, but Walsh was involved in a car accident which forced his withdrawal.

A win here for Burns, who is coming off a career best win against Kevin Mitchell earlier this year, will set him up for a lightweight unification showdown with American star, and current WBC champion, Adrien Broner.

Ricky Burns quotes:

“I’d say that this is going to be the hardest fight of my career so far against a young hungry challenger who will be looking to take my title.”

“Filipino fighters are as tough as they come, just look at Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire, like the Mexican’s and African’s they come to have a fight and Ocampo will do just that.  If he fights like those two, as people say he does, then I’ll be in for a tough night.”

“It’s unfortunate that Walsh had an accident and had to pull out of our fight, but I’m a world champion and I have to deal with these changes and I’m confident I’ll deal with Ocampo.” 

“I’ll let my trainer Billy Nelson do the homework and he’ll come up with the master plan to beat this guy like he has done for all my big fights against Mitchell, Katsidis and Martinez.”

Frank Warren, Burns promoter, added: 

“It’s going to be hard for Ricky, he’s been training to face Walsh and in an ideal world he would have had more time to prepare for the different style that Ocampo will bring.”

“He can’t afford to slip up, though, we are virtually there with the fight against Broner for next year and that will only happen if he comes through against Ocampo.”

In addition to Burns’ world title defence, there are five more title fights featured on the card. George Groves defends his Commonwealth super-middleweight title against Glen Johnson in the chief support; Commonwealth middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders defends against Nick Blackwell with the vacant British title also up for grabs; unbeaten welterweight prospect Bradley Skeete challenges Southern Area champion Chas Symonds and WBO International cruiserweight champion Tony Conquest puts his title on the line against Neil Dawson.

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