WBO world lightweight champion Ricky Burns believes he was starting to get on top of Jose Gonzalez at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow last night before the Puerto Rican dramatically quit on his stool before the start of the 10th round.
Gonzalez, the 29-year-old mandatory challenger, showed why he arrived in Scotland unbeaten in 22 fights as he took the bout to the home favourite.
Burns was three rounds down on all three judges’ scorecards when the contest sensationally came to end as Gonzalez quit due to a wrist injury.
Asked if he was relieved at the outcome, the Scot said: “Not at all. I felt that he was starting to tire.
“The volume of punches he was throwing was less, he was on the back foot a lot more.
“I knew it was tight but I always go for a strong finish. I train for a hard 12 rounds and it’s the championship rounds where you get found out.
“I didn’t think I had to stop him but I knew I had to win those (later) rounds convincingly.
“Even though I was missing with 50% of the punches I was throwing he was still under pressure and he didn’t like it.”
Burns’ promoter, Eddie Hearn, claimed the Coatbridge fighter broke Gonzalez’s heart.
“I think we came before a very good fighter in Gonzalez,” he said. “You never know how good they are going to be but he was very good and under the circumstances the only way Ricky was going to beat him was breaking his heart.
“I don’t know if he broke his hand but he broke his heart.
“I looked at Gonzalez two rounds before it (was stopped) and he was getting very very tired.
“You have three rounds to win the world title and you pull out of it with a bad hand? I think there is more to it than that.
“I think Ricky broke his heart.
“But Ricky showed unbelievable heart, especially in the seventh round.”