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Road warrior Zhakiyanov believes former teammate Burnett “will not be different”

WBA bantamweight champion Zhanat Zhakiyanov [27(18)-1(0)] is a Kazakh road warrior. He’s been there and done it all.

Over his career the 30 year old has fought in his native Kazakhstan as well as Russia, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Switzerland, England, Belarus, Hong Kong, Ireland, Australia, Bulgaria, Monaco, and America

Before defeating reigning champion Rau’shee Warren in January, Zhakiyanov had claimed five rankings belts as well as the European and the EBU-EE title

Bar an early career loss in Russia, ‘ZZ’ gets the job done on his travels, and he expects October 21st to be no different.

Here Zhakiyanov will return to Belfast for a fight with former gym mate Ryan Burnett [17(9)-0] in a bumper unification at the SSE Odyssey Arena, and a famously loud Irish atmosphere doesn’t worry him in the slightest.

The Asian boxer, who is trained by Ricky Hatton, outlined how “I’ve won against all title holders that my management team put in front of me,”

“In Switzerland in 2011, in Sheffield in against Karim Guerfi, in Vraza against Hector Guzman, in Monaco against Yonfrez Parejo and in Ohio against Warren.”

The pair have sparred in the past whilst sharing a trainer in Hatton, and both appeared on the same card at the Holiday Inn in Belfast four Summers ago, but Zhakiyanov isn’t one for sentiment and promised that “Ryan Burnett will not be different from what I’ve always achieved.”

The fight will be shown live on Sky Sports, with details of a packed undercard to be announced at a press conference next week.

gym trition

frayne carpentry

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