Ricky Burns, the World Boxing Organisation lightweight champion, has decided against undertaking a high risk unification bout against American Adrien Broner.
Burns' promoter, Frank Warren, was keen to match the 29-year-old Coatbridge boxer with the man dubbed "The Problem" in Atlantic City in February with Broner's World Boxing Council title also on the line
It was suggested that Burns stood to earn £400,000 – twice his previous highest purse – for making a third defence of his crown, following talks between Warren and Broner's promoter, Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy.
Warren stressed that he was leaving it to Burns to decide, but the Scot's manager, Alex Morrison, stated that the boxer would not put his title on the line against the 23-year-old from Cincinnati for less than a life-changing £500,000.
While Burns himself is keen to become the first Scot to unify world titles, Morrison's reluctance to allow his boxer to agree to a bout with Broner at this juncture is understandable, given that the American has won 21 of his 25 bouts by knock-out. So it was no great surprise when Morrison announced: "We are not taking the fight. Ricky doesn't have the necessary strong mindset at the moment to undertake such a big fight."
Burns should have been in action last weekend, on the ExCel Arena bill promoted by Warren in London, but his fight with Jose Ocampo was called off at just four days' notice when the Filipino challenger was mysteriously withdrawn.
Warren later announced Burns would return to the ring at the end of January, almost certainly in Glasgow, with the 26th pencilled in as the likely date.
Morrison said: "We are definitely not going to America. I was the one who talked Ricky out of it, because he's on a downer at the moment after suffering a huge let-down.
"Ricky had trained to box in London last weekend and the fight was called off at the last minute. They wanted him to box a meaningless 10-rounder instead, but he didn't even know who he would be fighting."
But Morrison added: "Ricky will willingly fight the No.1 contender, whoever that is. Hopefully it will be in Glasgow at the end of January, but that's up to Frank. Ricky is already back in the gym, training hard."