Lightweight titlist Ricky Burns of Scotland knows he didn't look good in his May defense against Jose Gonzalez, the little-known mandatory challenger from Puerto Rico.
Gonzalez gave Burns all kinds of problems before quitting on his stool after the ninth round, claiming an injury, although he was ahead on all three scorecards.
Burns (36-2, 11 KOs) is returning to make his fourth title defense against Mexico's Raymundo Beltran (28-6, 17 KOs) on Sept. 7 at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow, Scotland, and vowed to be better prepared than he was against Gonzalez.
"I've watched the fight back a few times," Burns said. "I saw that I was trying to force the pace and I was getting caught with stupid punches that I shouldn't have been taking. For this training camp we've gone back to basics and although I'm prepared to get into a brawl against Beltran if I need to, I'm going to try to stick to my boxing skills. Preparation has been going great."
Beltran, who has served as one of Manny Pacquiao's top sparring partners, has won three consecutive fights to push himself into the lightweight top 10, including an upset decision win against Hank Lundy 13 months ago. Beltran is nothing if not tough.
"I am expecting a very tough fight," Burns said. "He's got a few losses, but they are against top level opponents so we know what to expect, and he has not been a sparring partner to Manny Pacquiao for all these years for nothing. I've seen him fight before but since the fight was announced I haven't watched anything of him. I'm just going to go out and stick to what I do best to get the win and then look at the big unification fights out there.
"I still have to go out and put in a good performance against Beltran to make them happen. I keep telling everybody that even though it's been mentioned that I might fight in America at the start of next year, I am not looking at that. I know I have to take it one fight at a time. Raymundo is a great fighter. Boxing fans know that and it's going to be a great fight and the fans in the SECC in Glasgow are going to have a great night, and I'll be putting in the type of performance that I should've done last time."
The card will also include lightweight Luke Campbell, the 2012 British Olympic bantamweight gold medalist, in his second professional fight, a scheduled six-rounder against an opponent to be named. Campbell turned pro on July 13 and blitzed Andre Harris in an 88-second knockout win.