Philippines, 29 May 2024
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Ocampo's golden chance has arrived. Filipino Jose Ocampo (17-5-1, 12KO's) will have the greatest opportunity to shine in the world of boxing when he challenges 2-division world champion Ricky Burns (35-2, 10KO's) of Scotland for the WBO Lightweight World Crown on December 15th at the ExCel Arena in London, England.

The fight will be Ricky Burns' third Lightweight world title defense since his successful arrival in the 135 lbs division outclassing Australian Michael Katsidis in November of last year.

In January 2012, Burns was installed as regular WBO Lightweight champ after then champion Juan Manuel M?rquez moved up a weight class to the super lightweight division.

Prior to being Lightweight champion, Burns was a super featherweight monarch with three successful title defenses before moving to the lightweights and the skillful 29-year-old Scotsman hasn't lost a fight in almost 5 years.

Burns was interested in fighting unbeaten European champion Liam Walsh (13-0, 10KO?s), but Walsh had an accident and had to pull out, so it will be Ocampo the one to climb the ring on Dec 15.

The 23 year-old Jose Ocampo, born in Sarangani, Philippines, who captured the Asia Pacific super featherweight (130 lbs) title last March, will fight for a first tile for a world title in his second fight away from his native Philippines.

In April of last year as a huge underdog, the then featherweight (126 lbs) Jose Ocampo climbed two weight classes to square off world #2 Lightweight (135 lbs) Thai Tor Silachai in Petchaburi, Thailand, in an intense combat attended by this author.

In spectacular fashion Ocampo knocked out the more experienced Thailander to earn the Asian Pacific belt and a place in the world rankings.

Now in preparation for his world title battle against the talented Burns, Ocampo has been going through a rigorous training in a paradisaical beach in the Philippines, informed Ocampo's promoter Sammy Gello-ani.

"Jose Ocampo has been in training since September at my SGG training camp at the seaside resort Municipality of Baliangao, Misamis Occidental (Mindanao) in the southern Philippines.

"My fighter (Ocampo) has been sparring with stablemates Rey Labao (Filipino Lightweight Champion), featherweight Weng Haya, ?Cebuano featherweight Jessie Cris Rosales and 154 pounder Mark Jason Melligen."

In his big fight in England, Ocampo will be accompanied by his head trainer Danilo Bactol, second/cutman Celso Epanto and his promoter Sammy Gello-Ani

The four will leave for London next Tuesday (Dec. 10), five days before the important night.

The Burns-Ocampo fight for the WBO Lightweight World Title at the ExCel Arena is a production of Hall-of-Famer British promoter Frank Warren of BoxNation.

File photos:

Ocampo scores against the Thai.

Ocampo drinks water as the referee appears distress.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Carlos Costa.

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