A unification would follow and Burnett [19(9)-0] has since signed up for the revolutionary World Boxing Super Series.
Now the Belfast bantamweight is, arguably, three wins away from solidifying his claim of being Ireland’s greatest ever fighter.
WBA champion Burnett takes on Filipino legend Nonito Donaire this Saurday in the WBSS quarter-finals in Glasgow and a win would set up a unification with WBO champ Zolani Tete. A win here and he would move into the final versus either Manny Rodriguez and Naoya Inoue and have the chance to reclaim the IBF belt he was forced to vacate
Legacy is important for the 26-year-old who is the tournament top seed.
Burnett consciously chose four-weight world champion Donaire [38(24)-5(1)] as his opening opponent ahead of former titlist Juan Carlos Payano and Russian amateur star Misha Aloyan.
Explaining his rationale, the North Belfast boxer said that “I am fighting Nonito Donaire, a great champion. I picked Nonito, because the better the fighter the better I become.”
The SSE Hydro will host the clash this weekend and, while he is a heavy favourite, there is genuine intrigue with Donaire moving down two weight classes and potentially bringing incredible power into the match-up
For Burnett,, who fights in his fourth world title contest, it is another opportunity to add another notable win on his record following three consecutive victories over consensus Top 10 bantamweights.
The Adam Booth-trained boxer noted how “I am close to have everything I ever wanted in life. That’s why I have this mad hunger to smash through every single object in front of me. And I will!”
The fight this weekend will be shown live on the World Boxing Super Series YouTube channel.