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Ryan Burnett open to Zolani Tete unification – but leaving decisions to his team

Ryan Burnett [18(9)-0] claims he is willing to go tête-à-tête with one Zoltan Tete [26(21)-3(1)], but will fight whoever his team deems best in 2018.

The South African, who holds the WBO bantamweight title, came to Belfast in November to fight and try and made a concerted effort to try and push through a three-belt unification bout with the IBF and WBA champion.

Following his record-breaking KO of Siboniso Gonya, Tete’s promoter Frank Warren was also very vocal in his desire to get the fight made and hinted it would be ideal for the undercard of Carl Frampton’s proposed Windsor Park homecoming.

However, Burnett’s promoter Eddie Hearn shot down the idea in rather honest fashion.

The Matchroom boss who looks after the career of 25-year-old Burnett, as well as WBA lightweight champ Katie Taylor, claims it doesn’t fit with his ‘earn with Hearn’ mantra.

The fighter himself is adamant he isn’t avoiding the WBO belt-holder personally, but he trusts his team to pick the right fights at the right time.

Speaking to famed fight publication Boxing News the Antrim Road fighter explained how “I think Tete is a very, very good fighter. He’s very skilled and isn’t where he is for nothing. But I’ve got a team around me who deal with these things and create my path and I listen to them. I always have done.”

“If Adam [Booth, trainer] says we’re doing this, that’s what I do. If Adam says jump, I say how high. That’s it.”

“If he told me I was fighting Tete, I’d say not a problem. I’d fight anybody in the world. That’s what I do. But that’s not my decision. That’s down to my team. That’s their job. I just leave it in their hands. I only control what I can control and that’s training and fighting.”

“I don’t really think about the other champions and getting what they have. I just think about myself and how to better myself. I don’t focus too much on what else is out there. Those decisions are down to Adam and Eddie.”

Burnett will be the subject of a bumper six-page feature in next week’s edition of Boxing News.



Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years