By James Crook

152588737May 10 - Scottish WBO lightweight world champion Ricky Burns has joined a growing list of British stars showing support for Glasgow's bid to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games as he prepares to defend his world title against unbeaten Puerto Rican fighter José González at the city's Emirates Arena tomorrow.

"I'm proud to be backing Glasgow's bid to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018." said the 30-year-old from Lanarkshire.

"It is great to see young people being given opportunities to reach their potential and that is what the Youth Olympic Games is all about.

"It would be great to see the young boxers of the future here in Glasgow in 2018.

"We have some great venues that could be used.

"It was always a dream of mine to be in the ring and I hope other young boxers get the chance to realise their dreams in Glasgow in 2018.

emiratyesarenaBurns will defend his WBO lightweight world title at Glasgow's Emirates Arena tomorrow

Burns will attempt his third title defence in front of a bumper crowd at the £113 million ($175 million/€135 million) Emirates Arena in Glasgow's East End, which will host events during next year's Commonwealth Games and at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games should their bid be successful.

"I can't wait to get out there at the Emirates Arena on Saturday." he said.

"It is a great venue and I am sure the fans will love it.

"Since the fight was announced the response we have had has been unbelievable.

After previously defending his title at Glasgow's SECC and Braehead Arena, Burns cannot wait to feel the atmosphere produced by the home fans at his first fight at the Emirates Arena, which was opened in October last year.

"I know I have the best fans in the world and I am looking forward to putting on a show for them.

rickyburnsRicky Burns joins a growing list of British athletes flying the flag for Glasgow 2018

"Competing in Scotland is such a unique experience.

"The passion and support from the fans is up there with the very best in the world."

Glasgow 2018 Bid Director Paul Bush added: "Ricky Burns's performances in the ring have been inspirational, showing what can be achieved through skill, commitment and sheer hard work.

"He is an example to young sportsmen and women looking to get to the top of their game."

Burns joins several big names in British sport such as the country's greatest Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy, Glasgow's own Olympic champion rower Katherine Grainger and London 2012 silver medal winning swimmer Michael Jamieson, along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Glasgow are up against the Colombian city of Medellin and Argentinian capital Buenos Aires in the race to host the 2018 Youth Olympics.

The decision is due to be announced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at a meeting in Lausanne on July 4. 

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