Promoter Eddie Hearn claims Ricky Burns refused easier options to take a “nightmare” fight with Julius Indongo.
Burns will face the unbeaten Namibian for the WBA, IBF and IBO World super-lightweight titles to unify the division at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on April 15.
The 33-year-old Scot became a three-weight world champion when he claimed the vacant WBA title by beating Michele di Rocco last year.
Indongo, 34, won the IBF and IBO titles with a stunning first round knock-out of Russian Eduard Troyanovsky in Moscow in December and when Burns was given the option of a unification fight his mind was quickly set.
Hearn said: “Indongo is a tall, rangy fighter that can punch, who not a lot of people know a lot about. So yes, absolutely a nightmare. Other fights came up, bigger names but were easier.
“Obviously I went to Ricky and said you can fight this guy for X money or this horrible nightmare for less money, what you want to do? He said I will fight the horrible guy for less money, I have won three world championships and I want to unify.
“I phoned Alex (Morrison, Burns’ manager) who agreed with me 100 per cent as any advisor would and said he would give him a call. He phoned me back 10 minutes later and said it was a complete waste of time, the only fight he wants is Indongo. So he has his chance.
“It is a 50-50 fight really. You would like to think that Indongo could fold under the pressure of coming to Glasgow with the amazing crowd but then you realise he went to Russia and knocked out the champion so you can’t look for that for inspiration. This is the icing on the cake, this is the one he wants more than anything.”
Burns, in the middle of his training camp, was determined to nail down a unification fight after years of speculation.
He said: “There were a couple of options but these unification fights have been dangled in front of me, talked about throughout my whole career even at the weights below and so you can’t expect me not to jump at it.
“I know it is a much harder fight, a riskier fight. But every fight is a risk. I am confident of going out and getting a win.”