The two belt World champion has banned all things boxing until the New Year.
The Belfast star has enjoyed a sensational 2017 defeating Lee Haskins to claim the IBF world title and Zhanat Zhakiyanov for the WBA equivalent not to long after.
It sets up a mouthwatering 2018 for the Adam Booth trained fighter and in recent weeks a host of pundits and fans couldn’t help but speculate as to what is next for the rising star.
However, Burnett [18(9)-0] himself is in no mood to visualize or plot out an ideal 2018, in fact he doesn’t want to think about what’s next until after Christmas is done.
The undefeated Matchroom fighter is taking a mental as well as physical rest after a high octane, high pressure year and will take a look at the 2018 road map after the holiday season is done.
Hospitalised with a ruptured tendon in his neck suffered midway through the Zhakiyanov defence, Burnett does not look likely to return until April at the very earliest.
The unified champ outlined to the Belfast Telegraph how “a lot of people are asking me when I’ll be back out again but I told Eddie [Hearn, promoter] and Adam [Booth, trainer/manager] ‘don’t dare talk to me about boxing until the New Year,’ so I haven’t heard a peep.”
“I’ve been taking it easy. I’ve been told a mental rest is just as important. I’m keeping myself ticking over in the gym but I am enjoying myself too.”
“I told Eddie and Adam that I’ll fight anybody. As a promotional side of things, it’s down to them to do it.”
Considering what he achieved over the last 12 months there is certainly no harm reflecting rather than forecasting- and while Burnett claims the magnitude of his success has yet to sink in he does know what the highlight of 2017 was.
Defeating former stable mate Zhakiyanov made Burnett only the second Irish fighter after Carl Frampton to unify World titles and that moment was special for him.
“It’s something that I’ve pushed myself towards and now I’ve done it,” he said. “I think it will settle in after my career, I don’t think I really understand the magnitude of it right now.
“[Zhanat] is a very tough man and he was very game that night. That was his best performance. he was so built up for it and it brought the better fighter out in him, which I had to adapt to and adapt my style a bit. I did what I had to do and I got the victory.”
“Becoming unified champion is something special. There aren’t many out there that are capable of doing it so it’s definitely my highlight of 2017.”