Ross Burkinshaw accused of dodging tough title defence

Ross Burkinshaw
Ross Burkinshaw
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Ross Burkinshaw has been accused of dodging a testing first defence of his Commonwealth bantamweight title.

The Sheffield fighter’s team were allegedly offered £12,000 in a bid to secure Ryan Farrag as the first challenger to the Commonwealth crown Burkinshaw has worn since September.

But after the offer was rejected, Farrag has hit back and says Burkinshaw is determined to avoid him.

“He’s definitely trying to avoid me,” Farrag told the Star. “My manager Neil Marsh made him a great offer and everyone we’ve spoken to has agreed with that.

“But it was knocked back and I wasn’t surprised to be honest.

“Ross Burkinshaw is not the best of fighters.

“No disrespect to him but he wouldn’t have a chance of winning the fight and he knows it.

“It looks like he’ll be taking the easier route.”

Burkinshaw had been due to make a first defence against mandatory challenger Martin Ward at Ponds Forge on December 13.

But County Durham fighter Ward pulled out and will now pursue his career in a higher weight class.

Farrag’s manager Neil Marsh says he tabled a £12,000 offer to Burkinshaw’s handler Dennis Hobson, looking to book a big fight to headline his first co-promotion with Carl Greaves in Blackpool next month.

Liverpool fighter Farrag had been due to meet Scott Gladwin for the vacant English title, a bout which fell through prior to the offer being made to Burkinshaw.

The 26-year-old will now face Ashley Lane on December 12, again for the vacant English title.

Though not enamoured by Burkinshaw’s skill, Farrag did praise the former military man for his surprise victory over Doncaster’s Jason Cunningham which earned him the Commonwealth title.

Farrag said: “Ross took that fight at three day’s notice so fair play to him for winning that.

“I was a bit surprised but he is always game and he can show his strength so he’s always got a bit of a chance.

“I was happy to see him win it in truth.

“Jason Cunningham was supposed to fight me for the English title but pulled out to fight for the Commonwealth title so it was nice to see him punished for that.”

There will be Sheffield representation on the December 12 bill in Blackpool as Sam Matkin and Ryan Hardy both chase Central Area title glory.

Matkin will go after the vacant Central Area light welterweight title against Nathan Brough while Hardy will face Adam Little for the welterweight crown.

Legal assistant Matkin is unbeaten in his eight fight career but has drawn his last two bouts. Hardy has won seven of his ten fights but lost three of his last four.