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Crown doesn’t fit – Burnett claims Inoue Donaire winner can’t claim to 118lbs King

The winner of the World Boxing Super Series final set for Japan in early November will be crowned king of the bantamweight division.  

Favourite Naoya Inoue or Future Hall of Fame fighter Nonito Donaire will walk away with the Muhammad Ali Trophy, three of the divisions world titles -IBF, WBA and WBO- and the title as the best at 118lbs. 

However, Ryan Burnett believes the crown won’t fit too comfortably as neither man has bettered him in the ring.

The Belfast fighter did enter the tournament and was fancied to go deep into the exciting contest, but excited at the first hurdle after suffering defeat to the ‘Filipino Flash’.

That defeat came as a result of a freak back injury, which prompts the 27 year old to suggest injury and not Donaire beat him in the quarterfinal last December.

Plus the former unified world champions injury enforced exclusion means he never got the chance to fight the Japanese finalist- and taking both factors into account Burnett claims neither can lay claim to being the king of the division.

The Adam Booth trained fighter is adamant he would have to beaten for any fighter at the weight to be able to lay claim to ‘the best’ status.

They can say they are the king of the 118 division, but they didn’t fight me,” Burnett told IFL TV.

“I think fate was against me the night I got the injury. I am pretty sure I would have beat Donaire and I would have went on to the final. I was confident I was going to win it, but fate dealt me a different hand and I just have to get on with it.”


Japanese power puncher Inoue has been built as an indestructible force who is living up to his ‘Monster’ ring moniker.

There are those who suggest he is too powerful and good for anyone at the weight including Burnett, but the Belfast fighter doesn’t agree.

“It’s the nature of a fighter to say they are going to win. Inoue is an incredible fighter,but I just think I possess something that can expose him in a sense. Maybe we will find out.

“In boxing there is answer to everything. You can’t do it perfect all the time if you can find an answer you can beat any fighter.”

The victor of the Japan hosted final versus Burnett seems a natural fight. It is one Burnett would be open to, but he has options and would look to fight before that potential match up.

“I have been told to take it easy,” adds the fighter who returned from injury with a win over Jelbirt Gomera in May. 

“I am just ticking over and I am waiting on word from Top Rank to let me know my next move. I know they are working and getting me something we are just waiting to see, possibly in the States,” he continues before talking about fighting the WBSS winner.

“I just have to wait and see until the final and if they are kind enough to give me a shot I am willing to take it.”


Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com