No Summer Glovin’ for Ryan Burnett – Belfast Homecoming delayed until at least Autumn


Ryan Burnett‘s Summer homecoming – just like his broken hand – may have to be put on ice.

One of two reigning Irish world champions retained his WBA bantamweight title with a wide points win over mandatory challenger Yonfrez Parejo of Venezuela in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Saturday night.

Before what was Burnett’s third world title fight and first WBA title defence, Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn revealed he had plans to bring the Antrim Road man back to Belfast, where he headlined successive Odyssey Arena shows last year, in the Summer.

However, the 25-year-old broke his hand in the third round of his clash with Parejo and, while he still managed to score a comfortable enough win, a hospital visit confirmed that he will face a longer break before his next visit to the ring.

Speaking after the clash, coach Adam Booth, who trained Andy Lee to world title success and also works with world title hopeful Michael Conlan, revealed the injury looks likely to rule Burnett out of the ring until at least September – meaning a Summer return is off the cards.

“He can’t really start punching again for four to six weeks so he will probably fight again after the Summer,” Booth told IFL TV.

It’s not all bad news for Belfast fight fans. The September time frame might fit perfectly with the World Boxing Super Series time frame – a competition Hearn let slip his fighter looks likely to take part in – and the city could play host to a massive quarter-final in the second installment of the popular tournament which offers multiple millions to the winner.

On another positive note Booth seemed to take some joy from the heart the young world champion showed on the undercard of Joshua vs Parker.

The Olympic Youth Gold medal winner who, along with TJ Doheny holds the longest unbeaten record of an active Irish fighter, had to negotiate nine rounds with a broken hand yet still managed to claim a wide points win.

“He broke his hand in the third round, which was a shame because he troubled him with it a few times.”

“Actually he told me about it in the fifth round, but he broke it in the third. He had wobbled him a few times when he landed the right hand, but he had to stop throwing it properly. He had to adjust his game plan and he did really well, showing another part to his game.

“He had to overcome yet again, something else and he did it I thought with a lot of maturity and I am really pleased with that.”

Watch Adam Booth’s interview with IFL TV in full below:

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