Jim Watt, believes Ricky Burns will prevail at the SECC tonight and retain his WBO lightweight crown against the enigmatic Mexican Raymundo Beltran.

However, the former world champion yesterday described as "silly" claims by Burns' promoter, Eddie Hearn that the 30-year-old from Coatbridge would be up "there as the greatest Scottish fighter of all time" should he see off the challenger.

Indeed, Watt appeared to take exception to Hearn's comments, clearly feeling they were tantamount to insulting. He said: "It was a silly thing to say because it's the sort of thing that can backfire on Ricky.

"If he had said 'the most successful' I would have gone along with that because you can measure success in defences and money earned. But people don't want to hear someone says Ricky is better than Benny Lynch, Jackie Paterson, Walter McGowan, Ken Buchanan and me, if you like.

"He did Ricky no favours and Ricky himself would never say something like that. Indeed, Ricky hates that sort of talk."

But Watt did not allow Hearn's "sales pitch" to impact on his assessment of Burns' ninth world title contest. "I fancy Ricky strongly," he said. "In his last fight, Ricky found Jose Gonzalez was a very much better fighter than anybody had expected, but I don't think he boxed badly.

"Ricky did what he always does and when he discovered that wasn't working, he found a way to get the job done and that's what champions have to do. Beltran clearly knows a lot of tricks. He would not have lasted a lot of years as Manny Pacquiao's sparring partner if he was a face-first fighter taking everything coming at him.

"So he is obviously tough, with the punches he has had to take and, at the same time, knowledgeable and cute that he didn't absorb the full force of them.

"I've watched Beltran and he likes to come forward and lead and counter-punch, so there will be times when Ricky will get caught close in with uppercuts and little hooks. It has also taken Beltran a long time to get his chance so he will give it everything he has. I also like the fact that he came over early.

"That highlights that he is not here just to pick up a cheque and believes he has a realistic chance of winning but I think Ricky will be too good for him."

Burns weighed in at 9st 8lbs 4oz, nine ounces lighter than the challenger, and claimed he made the weight much more comfortably than last time when he struggled to overcome Gonzalez.

"I was able to have some breakfast and a cup of coffee and I arrived here with a smile on my face instead of not wanting to talk to anybody," Burns said. "That's important psychologically."

While yesterday's weigh-in attracted a sizeable crowd to Glasgow's St Enoch's shopping centre, Burns continues to enjoy a surprising degree of anonymity, much to the surprise of the challenger's manager, the American Steve Feder.

"If Ricky had a Mexican heritage, with his record, he would be a national hero," Feder said. "There are obviously great fight fans in this country but, since I've been here, I've seen that football is king.

"It's interesting when we watch TV and it's all about football, plus a little blurb about Ricky. But I think a fight like this will hopefully remind people how great the sport is and that we can take attention away from football for one night.

"We have tremendous respect for Ricky, but, for all the champions in this division, he gets very little press in the United States.

"I was looking down the list of all the fighters we might want to go after and when I looked at Ricky I thought: 'This is interesting. Here's a guy who has defended his title many times, yet he's getting almost no coverage over here.'

"Why isn't he getting the attention he deserves? I don't care where you're fighting, if you're a champion of his quality, you deserve attention.

"So this fight can be good for both camps. We hope it helps Ricky and it helps us. Ray doesn't have time to play games at 32. If he wins, there are a lot of places to go, but if he loses and looks bad, it becomes very difficult after that."