Frank Warren reveals Ryan Burnett’s next opponent – but offers big money for Tete switch


Queensberry chief Frank Warren has seemingly revealed the identity of IBF bantamweight champ Ryan Burnett‘s next opponent, but the veteran promoter hopes to hijack the match-up and have the Belfast boxer face his man instead.

Burnett [17(9)-0] looks set to defend his belt for the first time in his home town at the SSE Odyssey Arena on October 21st, with mandatory challenger Emmanuel Rodriguez [16(11)-0] and WBA champ Zhanat Zhakiyanov [27(18)-1(0)] his two apparent options.

A formal announcement from Burnett’s promoter Matchroom was due next week but, in an explosive interview with IFL TV, Warren has claimed that the Irish boxer will fight Kazakh former gym mate Zhakiyanov in a unification.

However, Warren has another idea and would make an offer to Burnett and Eddie Hearn.

The veteran promoter wants his fighter, WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete [25(20)-3(1)] to instead face Burnett this Autumn in Belfast.

Warren has offer to cover the entirety of Tete’s purse for the fight, thus freeing up for Matchroom what he believes to be “a six figure sum” which Zhakiyanov would have been paid – as well as offering an additional top-up of £20,000 to whatever they intended to pay Burnett for the fight with the Hatton boxer.

The English promoter told IFL that “I have a great idea.”

“I understand Ryan Burnett’s next fight, which is going to be announced by Eddie Hearn and Matchroom, is going to be against Zhakiyanov for a unification for the IBF and WBA titles.”

“I’ve got a great idea. Ryan fights Tete and what we will do is, we will pay for Tete so the promotion [Matchroom] doesn’t have to pay for him.”

“We’ll give him [Burnett] another twenty grand to the promotion, so we’re paying for our man, Zolani, and we’re paying twenty grand to the promotion.”

Addressing Burnett, Warren reasoned that “you can say to your promoters: ‘that six figure sum or whatever you’re paying Zhakiyanov, and the twenty grand, put that in my purse and I can have that.'”

“That is a fantastic deal. Financially that is a fantastic deal for you because you’re getting both the purses and twenty grand – and you’re getting a unification fight.”

“Don’t let them talk you out of it, you know this is big money, don’t let them try and change your mind. This is a big fight

Warren revealed that “we made the offer a couple of weeks ago, I don’t know if they told him [Burnett], but it’s a matter of public record now, and that’s where we are now.”

Watch Frank Warren’s interview with IFL TV below:

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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