He coached David Haye to the summit of cruiserweight and heavyweight boxing, was in the corner as close pal Andy Lee took his World title opportunity, but Ryan Burnett‘s World title win last night was the most satisfying moment in coach Adam Booth‘s boxing career to date.
Booth wasn’t quite as emotional as Ireland’s only current World champion following the brilliant win, but he did seem just as happy when speaking after the triumph over Lee Haskins.
The London coach, who has now been involved in two Irish world title wins, was coy in the build up to the career-changing bout, but was full of praise for his charge after the win and wasn’t slow about highlighting it as a coaching highlight for him.
“He was magnificent, because Lee Haskins is not easy to out-trick and out-box, and that’s exactly what he did for 12 rounds,” said ‘The Dark Lord.’
“I haven’t had a world champion after only 17 pro fights who’s performed like that.”
“Everything with David Haye, at cruiserweight, heavyweight, and Andy Lee at middleweight, it’s all special, but there’s something about what Ryan has achieved: I’m pretty sure I’ll never see that again with a fighter after only 16 pro fights.”
Booth, like Burnett, was content enough to bask in the achievement in the immediate aftermath of the win and was keen to pass on any questions about the future to Eddie Hearn – who he made a deliberate effort to praise for being true to his word and delivering on promises.
However, Booth did indicate there is a lot more to come from Burnett.
“It’s a little bit scary for me now, because it makes me realise just how good he can be. He is probably 60 percent at the moment I can’t wait to see where he ends up,” Booth added.
“I want him to be able to do everything. I want him to be a sharp-shooter, an inside fighter, a southpaw, orthodox pressure, counter puncher, pressure fighter. He does that all in the gym, with good fighters in the gym. It’s just a question of proving to himself over and over again that he can do it under the spotlight.”
“I though he did that magnificently tonight because Lee Haskins is not an easy fella to out trick and out box and that is exactly what he did over 12 rounds.”
Indeed so impressed with Burnett was Booth on Saturday that he was confident enough to ditch his own coaching principles during the fight.
The English trained noted how “absolutely nothing got to him tonight. In the eleventh round he dropped Haskins, now I have never waved a fighter on before. I always say keep it clean, see the target even when you got him hurt and pick it clean, but I found myself waving him on.”
“With another 10 seconds he probably would have finished it then. That assault in eleventh was impressive and that is something that can evolve as his career evolves.”
“I am fascinated by this support in Belfast, whichever division and whichever belt is on the line, with the way that he fights the other things will just become formalities and they are the formalities Eddie will put in front of us.”
LISTEN: Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill speak to Luke Keeler and Paddy Barnes on Episode 6 of The Irish Boxing Show: