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Old-school Ryan Burnett “not just fighting for a world title”

Ryan Burnett [16(9)-0] is a young man, a modern man, but his outlook on boxing is old school.

It could be said that the North Belfast boxer enjoys the finer things and he is very much a cool, calm and collected person.

However, in terms of boxing, Burnett is one for hard toil and doing things the right way.

The Adam Booth-trained fighter was a top amateur and turned pro young. Building through learning fights, Burnett would win and defend the British title and now stands on the cusp of world glory.

The 25 year old takes on Lee Haskins [34(14)-3(3)] for the IBF bantamweight title at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.

Haskins is an established champion, and the 33 year old will defend his belt for the second time on a second successive Matchroom bill.

The quality of his opponent is something which Burnett, having come up the hard way, takes pride in.

Speaking today at the final press conference in Belfast, Burnett described how “I’m not just fighting for a world title, a vacant world title, I’m fighting for a world title against a defending champion, a very, very good world champion.”

“That’s going to make the night even sweeter for me.”

“We’re very, very close now. It’s a dream of mine to get back to Belfast and fight here, and not only fight here, but fight for a world title.”

Paying tribute to his opponent, Burnett claimed that “to beat Lee Haskins I’m going to have to be at my very, very best.”

“I know exactly the challenge standing in front of me on the night. You can’t dress it up, he’s a fantastic world champion, he’s been beaten once in nine years.”

While the challenge posed is immense, Burnett is wholly confident going into the bout which many believe is a fifty-fifty fight.

The London-based boxer outlined that “with the work that we’ve been doing in the gym, I’m convinced I’ve got the tools to do the job on Saturday.

“Every single night when I’m lying in bed, I’m thinking about the belt, thinking about winning it, how I’m going to do it, how it’s going to feel.”

The Burnett-Haskins undercard features an Irish cruiserweight title fight between Luke Watkins and Ian Tims, Feargal McCrory v Paul Holt, James Tennyson v Ryan Doyle, Paul Hyland Jr v Adam Dingsdale and appearances from Padraig McCrory, Paddy Gallagher, Sean Magee, and Tyrone McCullagh, as well as the return of Mike Perez.

Tickets for ‘Belfast Boy’ on June 10th at the SSE Odyssey Arena cost £30, £40, £60, £100, and £150 (VIP), and can be bought HERE.

LISTEN: Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill speak to Luke Keeler and Paddy Barnes on Episode 6 of The Irish Boxing Show:

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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