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“Call me the bad guy” – Eddie Hearn will not let Ryan Burnett fight Zolani Tete

Zolani Tete [26(21)-3(1)] can pack away his hat, scarf and gloves for some time yet.

Eddie Hearn has suggested that the WBO bantamweight champion won’t be returning to Belfast to fight Ryan Burnett [18(9)-0] in a unification any time soon.

The South African came to the capital of Irish boxing earlier this month in a bid to try and force a unification clash with the the WBA and IBF World champion.

The Frank Warren-promoted puncher, who certainly felt the cold in his November visit, wasn’t shy about name dropping Burnett in the build up to his clash on the the massive ‘Frampton Reborn’ card and impressed when defending his title against countryman┬áSiboniso Gonya.

Indeed, Tete set a World record with an 11 second knockout – the fastest ever in a World title fight.

Following the win, Frank Warren went into Burnett v Tete overdrive and it certainly is a mouthwatering unification prospect.

However, Hearn has shot it down and 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.

When speaking on this week’s edition of the Ringside Toe2Toe podcast, the promoter admitted Tete is a risk he won’t allow the willing Burnett to take.

Hearn outlined how “I will be very honest about the Burnett-Tete fight and tell you that is a tough, tough, tough fight.”

“Tete is an excellent fighter, as is Ryan Burnett, and l by the way it’s an┬áunbelievable fight and sooner or later we’ll have to take it because that is what you want to do,” Hearn revealed before clarifying why he is not open to it.

“Ryan Burnett earns the same money for a voluntary defence than he does to fight Zolani Tete. Ryan Burnett wants to fight the very best but, call me the bad guy, I will not let him fight Zolani Tete for average money. No!”

“Unless we get to a position, and this is a bit like Anthony Joshua, where┬áeverything’s secure, I want to build Ryan Burnett’s financial legacy.”

“I want him to have his house all paid off. I want him to leave the sport of boxing saying ‘I can’t believe I’ve done it, I’ve won World titles, I’ve got my houses, I am all set for the future.'”

“We’re not there yet, we are nowhere near there yet.”

Money is the sole issue, and Hearn added that “if we are going to gamble, gamble big. Against Tete, we are not gambling big. What are we gambling for? Yeah we are gambling for respect, we are gambling for credibility, we are gambling for a belt, but you can’t eat credibility, respect, or a belt.”

“I would not forgive myself if I put a fighter in a fight that difficult for poor money and we lose it all for just trying to do the right thing for a couple of blokes on the internet.”

“I’m sorry, that’s the truth of it.”

“The buck stops with me. Fighters need to be protected from themselves. If it was up to Ryan Burnett, he would fight Tete next, no problem. It’s our job to protect them in the toughest sport of all.”

“I’m just being honest with you, the Tete fight will not be next

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)



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