Options open- Burnett stalks world champions at two weights

It’s not about weight for Ryan Burnett at the present moment in time it’s about titles.

The Belfast fighter claims he can switch between bantamweight and super bantamweight with the same ease as Pound for Pound fighter Terrence Crawford can transition between orthodox and southpaw.

The 26 year old returned from injury with a comfortable win over Philippine Jelbirt Gomera on the top of the #MTKFightNight at the Ulster Hall on Friday night.

The former unified IBF and WBA bantamweight world champion  weighed in at bantamweight for his return from a hip/back injury suffered during a World Boxing Super Series clash with Nonito Donaire.

However, he revealed the step up in weight has nothing to do with issues on the scales, rather it was a tactical move.

Burnett believes he could soon have options at both 122lbs and 126lbs at world level and is happy to take any opportunity that arises at either weight.

“I think I am at the point of my career now where I can hover around bantam and super bantam,” Burnett said directly after the fight.

“If a belt comes open at super bantam I will take or if it comes at bantam I will take that.”

The Top Rank’s fighters new boss Bob Arum suggested he wanted the Adam Booth trained former unified world champ to face the winner of the WSSB winner for a host of bantamweight straps.

However, Burnett is happy to wait and see how the title picture evolves over the next few months.

“There is always options. You give it 3-6 months and the belt holders always change. That’s boxing belts go around the division these days and in six months time you can have a complete new row of champions. That is the way it is and I just have to take it step by step.”

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The former WBA and IBF world champ was talking after his first stoppage win in five years in what was his first fight at home since October 2017.

His opponent Jelbirt Gomera was game for five rounds before ultimately looking for a way out. 

The away fighter’s early work rate and durability didn’t cause Burnett any problems, but he gave the former world champion a work out he was happy with. 

“He was a bit heavier, he was game, he was definitely there to have a go. He brought exactly what I needed he was game, bigger than me, he could push me back and it was perfect in that regard.”

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: [email protected]