News | Jan 23 2018

Ryan Burnett eyes spot on March 31 show, open to more unification fights

WBA and IBF world bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett discusses Zolani Tete and potential unification fights for 2018
Ryan Burnett
Ryan Burnett vs Zhanat Zhakiyanov  |  Action Images/Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

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.


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