Sheffield boxing: Burkinshaw gets European shot

Ross Burkinshaw
Ross Burkinshaw
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Ross Burkinshaw will compete for the WBO European championship at Sheffield’s Octagon Theatre, a week on Saturday.

The Beighton fighter was due to meet Terry Broadbent in his first defence of his Commonwealth bantamweight title on the same bill.

But promoter Dennis Hobson has manoeuvred him a shot at the Euro belt, which stands him a better chance to get noticed on the world stage.

He will fight Belgium’s Benjamin Smoes, whose last outing saw him lose a scrap for the WBO Euro super flyweight title.

Burkinshaw, 28, said: “This is another great opportunity for me - if I win this I will get a world ranking which should unlock a few more doors.

“This belt is like one below the world title range, while the Commonwealth is probably two below. So I hope to win this and then defend my Commonwealth in April.

It seems like Broadbent was going to pull out anyway, so it is great that this has come along.”

Burkinshaw has been working with coach Ryan Rhodes on improving his jab ahead of the fight with Smoes, who has a won 9 (KO 1) + lost 3 (KO 2) + drawn 1 = 13 record. Smoes has lost three out of his last five.