Ross Burkinshaw is being fast-tracked to a world title shot, according to his camp.
The Sheffield bantamweight is to relinquish his Commonwealth belt and pursue a world title eliminator shot, at the Magna, Rotherham on May 30. It is the latest opportunity in a spell-binding period of ascent up the ratings for the 28-year-old former soldier. In July 2013 he was stopped by Gavin McDonnell in two rounds and his future, after several injuries, seemed bleak.
But last September he outpointed Doncaster’s Jason Cunningham to win the Commonwealth, and has since also collected the WBO European title. Chris Smedley, who is working with promoter Dennis Hobson to secure a title shot, said: “Negotiations are underway with a non-European fighter who we are confident will come over here and face Ross. We expect it to be a world title eliminator. This move is down to good promoting - we have seen Dennis manoeuvre Jamie McDonnell and Stuart Hall into the same position.”
Burkinshaw says he has been a proud Commonwealth champion but now wanted to prove himself on the world stage. Smedley added: “Ryan Rhodes, (trainer) has done wonders, he’s got Ross mentally stronger and hungry. Ross is boxing smarter than before: if somebody tags him the red mist doesn’t come down, he goes back to boxing.”
Cunningham now gets another chance to land the Commonwealth. He fights Nick Otieno at Doncaster, on May 2. Meanwhile Dave Fidler competes for the Central Area super welter title at Sheffield’s Octagon centre (April 26.)