The Belfast bantamweight has joined up with the U.S. promotional giant after leaving Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Promotions.
Speculation over Burnett’s future has been rife since his return to the ring was confirmed for a #MTKFightNight bill at the Ulster Hall in Belfast on Friday March 17th and his subsequent removal from the Matchroom website.
Today it has been announced that he has joined Bob Arum’s outfit, joining fellow Irishmen Mick Conlan and Carl Frampton on the books of the Las Vegas-based outfit.
“It is a dream come true to sign with Top Rank,” Burnett said.
“I’ve spent years learning and perfecting my craft, becoming world champion and then unified world champion. On May 17, I begin my quest to become world champion again. Teaming up with the biggest players in the game in Top Rank, ESPN and MTK Global will only strengthen my drive and determination to achieve this.”
“With these guys behind me, there’s only one way ahead for me, and that’s straight to the top.”
Burnett is on the comeback trail having lost out to Nonito Donaire in the WBSS quarter-finals back in November when he was pulled out by coach Adam Booth due to an oblique injury.
The Antrim Road 26-year-old has made a rapid recovery since and returns at the famous Ulster Hall on a bill that will be shown live on YouTube and on the streaming app of Top Rank’s TV partner ESPN.
Burnett steps up to super bantamweight for the fight with Philippine southpaw Jelbirt Gomera where he will look to claim the vacant WBC International rankings title – but a move back down to 118lbs is still possible.
“We’re proud and excited to be part of another huge deal involving Top Rank and ESPN, and this is something Ryan deserves,” said Jamie Conlan, Professional Development Coordinator with MTK Global.
“As the boxing world already knows, Ryan has a special night upcoming when he headlines an #MTKFightNight in his home city of Belfast, live on ESPN+ on May 17. It’s great the partnership won’t stop there.”
“As someone who’s already unified a division, we believe we’re talking about an elite fighter, and elite fighters should fight on elite platforms.”
Trainer and manager Booth, whose stable recently came under the MTK banner, added that “I am relieved and excited that on May 17 Ryan will start his journey back to being world champion.”
“It was essential for us to look at the options and which relationships would maximize the opportunity for him to achieve this.”
“That’s why Ryan is now working with Top Rank, MTK Global and ESPN.”