Ross Burkinshaw steps in to make Commonwealth title derby

Ross Burkinshaw
Ross Burkinshaw

This weekend’s Commonwealth bantamweight title fight will be a South Yorkshire derby after a late opponent change.

Doncaster’s Jason Cunningham was set to challenge County Durham’s Martin Ward for the Commonwealth strap.

But after Ward withdrew with a chest infection, Sheffield’s Ross Burkinshaw was drafted in at late notice for the fight at Doncaster’s Dome.

Burkinshaw had been preparing for a six round fight at super flyweight, set for the following weekend.

But he has grasped the opportunity of a title challenge with both hands.

Burkinshaw last fought at the Dome a year ago when he was stopped inside two rounds by Gavin McDonnell in a Central Area super bantamweight title bout.

The change of opponent will come as somewhat of a blow to Cunningham with Ward holding a world ranking with the IBF.

However The Star understands the winner of this weekend’s fight could be lined up against Ward later this year.

* Sheffield’s former world cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson says he would end his nine year retirement – but only to fight current WBO king Marco Huck.

The 47-year-old says he would return for one fight only if given six months notice.