Burnett suffered a first career defeat when he was forced to retire on his stool between rounds 4 and 5 of his WBA title defence and World Boxing Super Series quarterfinal with fight legend Nonito Donaire.
A torn right oblique muscle – which also detatched from the bone, saw Burnett pulled by the corner
Before the full diagnosis was known, there was talk that the injury that was excruciating in the literal and figurative sense was the recurrence of a bulging disc – an aliment that had temporarily hampered Burnett’s amateur career.
Indeed, there were some suggestions that the fighter, who bounced back from early career issues and even a bout of homelessness to unify world titles, had back issues in the camp leading up to the tournament opener.
However, the Belfast talent told Off The Ball this week that the injury was a ‘freak’ occurrence that only hit him during the fight.
“Nothing, just the usual niggles,” he responded when queried about injuries in the build up to the clash.
“There was nothing around my back, nothing around my stomach – nothing at all. Everything was, I was 100%.”
“It’s been a month [since the injury] and it’s still so hard to take,” Burnett added, speaking to host Ger Gilroy and former Boxing Booth gym-mate Andy Lee.
“I mean, I was just settling into things – I was just starting to find my range and everything. I thought the next few rounds I was going to start to takeover and start upping my tempo and it was just a freak accident.
“That’s what they’ve put it down to – it was just a complete freak accident. And, it is what it is.”
The 26-year-old now faces a minimum of six months out of the ring. He will watch on as one of his peers at the weight will pick up three of the four belts available.
It’s quite possible he may return with a Donaire rematch – particularly if the four-weight world champion fails to win the tournament outright.
Then he may be able to claim the WBSS winner can’t call himself the best bantam in the world until he faces him due to the manner in which he exited the tournament.
For now he is focused on recovery and recounted just how much pain he was in during the fight at the SSE Arena in Glasgow.
“Right near the end of the [third] round – I was feeling something in my side where it just wasn’t right and anytime I was throwing my right hand – it just felt as if my side was twinging a bit.
“So, I got back into the corner and I said to Adam, ‘Look, there’s something not right here – I don’t know what it is but I just feel something’.”
“He said to me ‘Just go out into the next round and see how it goes’ and when I went out and threw that right hand – it just felt like someone had pulled my insides out. It was excruciating.”
Watch Ryan Burnett’s interview on OTB:AM in full below