British title fights ordered for Belfast duo

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Belfast pair Jamie Conlan [16(10)-0] and Ryan Burnett [13(9)-0] have been ordered to face top opposition in British title fights by the end of November.

British bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett has been told he must defend his belt against Liverpool’s former bantamweight World champion Paul Butler [21(12)-1(1)].

In addition, Jamie Conlan has been made mandatory challenger for Kal Yafai’s [19(13)-0] super flyweight belt.

Both bouts however, look extremely unlikely to take place due to a whole host of roadblocks.

Burnett and Yafai are both promoted by Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Promotions. In the other corner, Butler and Conlan are represented by Frank Warren and Queensbury Promotions.

Career-stage is another issue. Hearn has promised a World title fight for Burnett in Belfast next Spring should he win his next three fights. The likelihood of Hearn bidding for established name Butler to appear on a Matchroom undercard seems slim.

Warren could force the issue by bidding for the fight which would then present the choice of either Burnett fighting on a Boxnation bill – unlikely due to Matchroom trying to build his profile with Sky viewers ahead of a headline appearance in 2017 – or the Belfast 24 year old vacating his title and possibly aiming for Commonwealth or European honours.

Conlan-Yafai also seems unlikely with the persistent rumours that the Englishman, who is ranked with all four major governing bodies, will fight for a World title on Octobr 22nd in his native Birmingham.

A British title fight however seems possible at some stage for Conlan against the winner of the Jay Harris and Ramesh Ahmadi clash which also plays out on the Cardiff Boxnation undercard tomorrow. Alternatively, a rematch with Anthony Nelson, whom he shared a Fight of the Year with in April, could also appeal.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie