Ricky Burns turns the clock and knocks out Scott Cardle

This is evidence of a life in the old dog yet. Ricky Burns may be approaching the twilight of what has been an illustrious career but presented an unexpected opportunity to propel his way back into lightweight contention.

The 35 year-old has been expected to fight in the United States.

The lightweight bout on the undercard of the Oleksandr Usyk and Tony Bellew cruiserweight contest had been scheduled to go 10 rounds but Burns, in his 51st professional fight some 17 years after his first, only needed three to complete the 16th knock-out victory of his career.

Punching power and accuracy.

The cardinal, of Scottish parentage, had suffered enough. It was Burns' quickest win since 2011.

"I did when I first laced up the gloves," said the evergreen Burns afterwards. "I felt good out there tonight. We were offered the chance to be on this show and we jumped at the chance.

"It's a great place to fight in and I'm glad we got the win. The work that Tony [Sims, his trainer] puts in me and all my gym-mates means I'm always ready.

"I'm always waiting for that phone call so hopefully there are some big fights out there for me. I always treat myself as normal.

"I felt like I was getting my shots off well" We'll sit down and see if we can get a big fight lined up for the New Year. "

It could not be any prospect of Burns returning to the global stage but the victory, and the convincing nature of it, should ensure that it is in the lightweight division next year.

"There are some big names out there on social media," Burns revealed.

"But I just try to stay away from that. I'll just leave that to [manager] Alex Morrison and [promoter] Eddie [Hearn]. "

His dedication and commitment to training that, even at 35, he can go to a fight with a decade younger.

"After every fight I'm always straight back in the gym," Burns revealed. "I'm always keeping myself in shape. I'm always out running and keeping myself ticking over. I know when I start back training I've always got a good foundation of fitness. "

Sims admitted Burns' youthful spirit was a key to his longevity. "We call him Benjamin Button as he rolls back the years all the time," said the trainer. "He surprises me all the time. You can still see Ricky is a world-class fighter. He's still got a couple of big fights left in him. "

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