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End of the road for Haskins claims Burnett ahead of Belfast world title fight

Ryan Burnett [16(9)-0] was in town today for the press conference to launch his Belfast world title fight next month, and the Matchroom starlet is enjoying being centre stage.

Burnett takes on IBF bantamweight champ Lee Haskins [34(14)-3(3)] on June 10th at the SSE Odyssey Arena, and certainly did not look out of place today at the Europa Hotel.

The North Belfast man would tell the Bristolian today at the Europa Hotel that it was the “end of the road,” and noted that he is feeling no pressure ahead of his big homecoming fight.

Burnett explained that “this is something that I’ve been wanting for a long time. It wasn’t that too long ago I was sitting here on the undercard of another fighter and I said ‘one day this is going to be me.'”

“Now, through all the hard work, through the ups and downs, I’m eventually here.”

“I’m very, very excited for this fight, it’s something I’m looking forward to a lot.”

“I can’t wait now to get my hands on that World title and start bringing big fights to Belfast”

“I’ve paid my dues across the water, I’ve lived in England and had all my fights over there. I’m here now, this is it, it’s happening now. I’m so excited about my dream coming true on June 10th.”

While it wasn’t trash talk by any means, Burnett would suggest that 34 year old Haskins is reaching the end of his time as a top level fighter and that he will be feeling the pressure on fight night.

“There’s no pressure on me,” Burnett claimed.

“I’m only 24. This is all new to me, I’m enjoying this. If there’s pressure on anyone, it’s going to be on Haskins because he’s the champion, he’s coming over to my home crowd and he’s trying to defend his belt.”

“I know, on the night, I’m going to have a tough fight,” he admitted, before outlining his ‘changing of the guard’ mindset.

“He’s only been beaten once in the last nine years, so that goes shows the level of Lee Haskins. He’s been there, he’s done it, and he’s a great world champion.”

“He’s not World champ for nothing, he’s a very, very good – but I know that this is my time and this is where I take over. Father Time catches up with everyone, it’s time for me to take over and it’s time for him to step aside.”

“I’m only young, I’m only 24, I’ve only had 16 fights. My road’s only starting, his road’s coming to an end. There’s pressure on him, there’s no pressure on me”

Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 4 of The Irish Boxing Show

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie