Feature | Mar 26 2018

LONG READ Ryan Burnett and the sacrifice required

Ryan Burnett defends his WBA bantamweight title on the Joshua-Parker undercard. Elliot Worsell finds out what drives the champion on
Ryan Burnett returns
Action Images

This feature was originally published in Boxing News magazine last month 

HE’S head over heels the new champion, just not in the way you’d expect. Not in the giddy, loved-up, metaphorical sense. He’s head over heels in the dangerous sense. The more literal sense. The wrong way up, on his way down, I-told-you-not-to-do-that-but-you-did-it-anyway sense.

From this vantage point, this handstand position, blood rushes to his head and his arms and legs tremble. His world is upside down. The boots of his gym mates are in his eyeline, which means he’s oblivious to faces of fear, and his blue gloves, touching the canvas, are all that prevent his neck from snapping.