Eddie Hearn backs “superstar” Ryan Burnett to be Belfast’s new arena-filler


Ryan Burnett is a new man since claiming a world title claims promoter Eddie Hearn.

The Belfast bantamweight oozed star quality and charisma at today’s first official press conference for his unification with WBA champion Zhanat Zhakiyanov on October 21st at the SSE Odyssey Arena

Decked out in a custom-made suit from Chris Suitor, Hearn complimented the IBF champion’s style.

Noting the changes in the North Belfast 26 year old, Hearn recalled how “he used to turn up to press conferences in tracksuits, now look at him.”

“He’s looking a million dollars, do you know why? Because he’s a superstar!”

Like a snappy jab, Burnett quickly interjected and said “do you know why? Because you’re paying for it!”

In the aftermath of his title win over Lee Haskins in June, Burnett’s stock and profile has risen several levels. From a reception at City Hall to pride of place at the Spirit of NI Awards, everyone now knows Ryan Burnett.

A mural of Burnett now adorns a wall on the Antrim Road, where he grew up, and the world champion has become a veritable star in the Titanic City.

Hearn commented how “it’s so great to see a young fighter coming out of himself, to see him get embraced by the city.”

“[He’s] even getting paintings of himself put up in his hometown, where else in the world do you get that?”

“It [Belfast] is a special place to become a champion.”

“Thank you so much for the support that you’ve given Ryan Burnett. It’s very important to me that we make sure and pack this Odyssey Arena out.”

“Last time, we had a great night, an unforgettable night for Ryan Burnett. It was a good card and there were four and a half, five thousand people. This time, we want to do the lot.”

The Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov undercard features Paul Hyland v Stephen Ormond, Tyrone McKenna v Tommy Coyle, James Tennyson v Darren Traynor, Feargal McCrory, Jay Byrne, and Josh Kelly, with more still to be announced.

Tickets for the night cost £30, £40, £60, £100, £150 (VIP), and are available from the boxers involved or through HERE

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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