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Inoue a mile away – Ryan Burnett not focused on Japanese star ahead of WBSS opener

Naoya Inoue [17(15)-0] got the Season II of the World Boxing Super Series off to an explosive start on Sunday afternoon.

The Japanese powerhouse lived up to his ‘Monster’ nickname by stopping former world title holder Juan Carlos Payano after just 70 seconds of their quarter-final at the Yokohama Arena, Japan.

The victory raised Irish eyebrows because, all going well, Belfast’s WBA champion Ryan Burnett [19(9)-0] will face the Japanese fighter in the final of the brilliant new competition for three of the main bantamweight titles.

Some are claiming the win from the fighter WBSS Chief Boxing Office Kalle Sauerland claims is the ‘No. 1 puncher on the planet’ sent out a message to the remaining bantamweight’s in the contest but it’s a message that hasn’t arrived in Team Burnett’s inbox just yet. 

Speaking to Sky’s Ringside Toe2Toe podcast Burnett’s coach Adam Booth, who was in the corner when Andy Lee won his world title and also coaches Michael Conlan, admitted he was impressed by Inoue and the manner of the win but is adamant his focus is solely on Nonito Donaire [38(24)-5(1)]. 

Burnett faces the Filipino legend on November 3rd in Glagow and, should he win, will face the victor of today’s quarter-final between WBO champ Zolani Tete and Russian amateur star Misha Aloyan.

Analysing the Inoue win, Booth admitted that “I thought the set up was very impressive. He kept riding in under the fella’s arm and then came back with the one two. That’s the one thing he was warming up, to land that right hand.”

“He has very powerful legs so he can explode from out of distance into distance and did it to dramatic effect on Sunday,” added the London trainer before ensuring he wasn’t asked about a possible final between his man and the two-weight world champion.

“I only care about Nonito Donaire and the fact Ryan has got a job to do against a multi-weight world champion who pushed Carl Frampton at featherweight not that long ago.”

Booth is adamant that ‘The Filipino Flash’ deserves his full attention and can not be overlooked ahead of their bout at the SSE Hydro whch acts as a double-header along with the light welterweight quarter between Josh Taylor and Ryan Martin.


The four-weight world champion may be past his best at 35 but ‘The Dark Lord’ stresses that he is still a dangerous opponent and one who will be more effective at bantam having dropped down two classes, returning to a weight he last fought at seven years ago.

“He is back down to his natural weight and I am not sleeping on Donaire at all,” said Booth.

“I know how good Donaire is and how good he has been as well. I don’t see how he couldn’t be [better at bantamweight] he has an effervescent character as well and that sort of person stays younger for longer.”

“When I am watching footage of him I am watching footage him defending his world championships and performing in his prime.”


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