RICKY Burns, the World Boxing Organisation lightweight champion from Coatbridge, could be forgiven were he to develop a persecution complex, given the way fate has seemingly conspired against him.
Having been left kicking his heels for the past four months through no fault of his own after no fewer than three of his opponents called off at short notice, Burns now finds himself facing the threat of being stripped of his title.
Burns, 29, will learn today who he will face in his eighth world title bout when his recently-appointed promoter, Eddie Hearn, announces details of the 11 May show at a press conference in Glasgow.
However, the WBO has made it known that they have the power to declare the title vacant unless Burns' next defence is against mandatory challenger Jose Gonzalez of Puerto Rico. And unless Hearn has been successful in securing a defence against Gonzalez, Burns may well find himself the victim of WBO red tape.
Under WBO rules a mandatory defence against Gonzalez cannot go ahead on the planned date of 11 May in the event of the bout being declared open to purse offers.