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Hearn targeting two World champions for Ryan Burnett’s Belfast title fight

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Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn has two World champions in mind for Ryan Burnett [15(9)-0] for if and when the Sky cameras make their return to Belfast.

Hearn, along with trainer Adam Booth, have repeatedly stated their desire for British bantamweight champion Burnett to fight for World honours in his home city in early 2017.

For this mooted bout, Hearn has revealed that he would like the opponent to be either England’s Lee Haskins [34(14)-3(3)] who holds the IBF 118lbs crown, or Filipino Marlon Tapales [29(12)-2(1)] who is the current owner of the WBO belt.

The English promoter told IFL TV that “I would like to go to Belfast and do Ryan Burnett against Lee Haskins or Ryan Burnett against Tapales who is the WBO World champion.”

Burnett defended his British strap for the first time last month with a dominant twelve-round win over Ryan Farrag in Liverpool. It is thought that the North Belfast man will have at least one more fight, perhaps against the likes of Stuart Hall or Karim Guerfi, before jumping into World title action.

The division’s other champions are American three-time Olympian Rau’shee Warren [14(4)-1(0)] who holds the WBA title, and Japanese WBC king Shinsuke Yamanaka [26(18)-0-2] who is generally accepted as the number one at the weight.

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