Ryan Burnett [19(9)-0] fights in the quarter-finals of the World Boxing Super Series this Saturday night in Glasgow, putting his WBA bantamweight title on the line against Filipino four-weight champ Nonito Donaire [38(24)-5(1)].
A man that know both personally, Carl Frampton [26(15)-1(0)], believes his former training partner Burnett has the edge but has warned his fellow Belfast man of Donaire’s power.
Frampton faced Donaire back in April, winning the WBO interim featherweight belt at the SSE Odyssey Arena.
‘The Jackal’ won a wide points decision against ‘The Filipino Flash’ but had to withstand an eleventh round last stand from Donaire and believes that these punches will be more potent down at bantamweight.
Writing in his weekly column for the Sunday Life, Frampton warned Burnett that Donaire “has a left hook that can put people to sleep.”
“Donaire’s punching power is the main threat to Burnett in Glasgow on Sunday. I don’t believe that Ryan has fought anybody with the power that Donaire has.”
“When I fought him in April in Belfast I knew from the first round that I had to be wary of his power. He caught me on the arm and it just made me wary.”
“Now he has dropped down to bantamweight you would naturally think that the power would have an even greater effect but of course the big question for most people is whether or not Donaire can be effective at bantamweight when he hasn’t boxed at the weight for a long time.”
It is indeed seven years since Donaire last made bantamweight – and it has been heavily rumoured that, at 35 years of age, he is struggling with the weight and that first reserve Paul Butler may need to step in.
Regardless, Frampton is backing Burnett to claim the win at the SSE Hydro and move onto a semi-final unification with WBO champ Zolani Tete.
Giving a far from definite prediction, the 31-year-old, who challenges IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington next time out, outlined how “it’s going to be interesting to see how well Donaire competes at bantam but I expect it to be a good fight with Burnett winning clearly on points.”
“While I believe that Burnett will start as the favourite, it would be foolish to write off Donaire. Burnett has youth on his side, he is nine years younger and has a style that will make it tough for Donaire. He feints very well and has a high energy which Donaire will find hard to handle.”
“Ryan Burnett has already achieved something amazing by unifying two of the bantamweight titles but now he has the chance to do something even greater.”