RYAN BURNETT, Belfast’s WBA and IBF world bantamweight champion, expects to fight on March 31 – on the undercard of the world heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker – but won’t, he says, be collecting another belt. Not for the time being anyway.
The gifted 25-year-old was in the habit of collecting belts last year. He snatched the IBF title from Lee Haskins in June and then, in October, without even having made a defence, jumped straight into a dangerous unification clash with WBA champion Zhanat Zhakiyanov. That was just his 18th professional fight, by the way. It was a risk, a calculated one that could have backfired, but, such is Burnett’s talent and tenacity, he prevailed in a gruelling affair, doubled his loot, and now possesses the kind of power his rival champions are without.
“Everyone says becoming a world champion is supposed to make you feel different, but, for me, every day is still the same,” he tells Boxing News.