ACCORDING to the Belfast Telegraph, the cost of the back injury Ryan Burnett suffered on Saturday night (November 3) during his fight with Nonito Donaire could be somewhere around the £2 million mark.
That’s the sort of figure the WBA bantamweight champion apparently stood to make if he had been able to defeat Donaire, overcome WBO ruler Zolani Tete in the semi-final, and then taken his place in the World Boxing Super Series final.
Instead, Burnett fell victim to the most unfortunate of injuries during round three of his fight with Donaire before dropping to his knees in agony in the fourth. At the round’s conclusion, he was then pulled out of the fight by his coach, Adam Booth, thus surrendering his title and his place in the World Boxing Super Series, as well as a hefty cash windfall.
It remains to be seen how Burnett, 19-1 (9), will respond from the setback. Depending on the severity of the injury, he could be installed as a tournament reserve for future fights, but that plan sounds ambitious at this stage.
“There is a way back for Ryan I wish him a speedy recovery but I fear it could be a long one,” said the tournament’s promoter, Kalle Sauerland. “I’d love to have him as a reserve but I’m not a doctor and that will be up to his team.”
The nature of Saturday’s finish was unsatisfactory not only for Burnett but also Donaire, the man who ultimately benefited from it. Now a world champion all over again, the manner in which he nabbed Burnett’s WBA belt was far from ideal.
“There was nothing I could see that led to the injury except the body shots I was throwing,” the ‘Filipino Flash’ said afterwards, “though I did notice that when I was making him miss he was throwing with such velocity but holding his body back. That seemed to make him uncoordinated.
“In the first couple of rounds I felt I was relying a bit too much on power and my coach told me to start boxing the way we had trained, so I started to show more of my boxing – to be smart.
“I started to listen, and you could see that he wasn’t touching me and I was setting him up.
“It was unfortunate the way the fight ended, and I hope Ryan is able to recover quickly because he is a great fighter.
“Now I have the fight with Tete and I will go away and learn from this and build on this performance.”
Ultimately, Saturday night in Glasgow was yet another reminder that nothing can be taken for granted in this, the most unforgiving and unpredictable of sports.
Former WBO world super-welterweight title challenger Brian Rose was last seen losing a nip-and-tuck 12-rounder against fellow Blackpool native Jack Arnfield in March 2017.
After that, he battled an injury – the nerves stopped working in his tricep – and ended up having nine months out because of this. What followed was a stag-do and a wedding and all of a sudden nine months became 18 months.
Now, with a comeback set for this Friday (November 9) in Manchester, and a WBO European middleweight title fight with Luke Keeler booked for December, ‘The Lion’ is delighted to be back.
“I’m happy to be starting off with a six-rounder before the title fight against Keeler,” said Rose, 29-5-1 (8). “I’ll blow the cobwebs off.
“I’m going to keep focused and I think you’ll see the best of me because of that. I’m not just saying it – you’ll see the best Brian Rose. I’m not making this comeback for the money; it’s for myself, mentally.
“It shows a lot about my character to do it for the love of it. There was a time I was jumping in there to pay bills but I’m not in that position now. I’m in the best place I’ve been in mentally and physically for years. I can’t wait to get people talking about me again. I can’t wait – I’m excited.
“If you look back to when I challenged for the British title, I won it and defended it three times in the space of 12 months. I fought four times in a year and they were my best days and great performances. When I’m active, you see the best Brian Rose.”
At 33 years of age, Brian Rose, a man who shared a ring with Demetrius Andrade in 2014, doesn’t have a lot of time to waste. However, the former British super-welterweight champion sounds in a good place, both physically and mentally, and appears ready for one final run at a title or two. ‘The Lion’, it would seem, still roars.