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Ryan Burnett banking on big Belfast home advantage in world title fight

Ryan Burnett [16(9)-0] is looking to rally the troops and create a special atmosphere in Belfast when he fights for his first world title.

It was announced this afternoon that the North Belfast man will challenge IBF bantamweight champion Lee Haskins [34(13)-3(3)] on Saturday June 10th at the SSE Odyssey Arena.

Topping the bill, former British champion Burnett is happy to fulfill a life-long dream and is expecting a raucous atmosphere when he takes to the ring in just over six weeks time.

The 24 year old described how “I always dreamed of headlining in Belfast and now I have the opportunity to do it for a World Title – I’m so excited.”

“Home advantage is going to be massive. I’ve been in the opposite corner when I fought Ryan Farrag in Liverpool and experienced that side of it.”

Burnett has long been touted as something of a Belfast successor to two-weight world champion and former gym-mate Carl Frampton. The Adam Booth-trained fighter featured early on the Frampton-Parodi bill, but experienced the full power of the Belfast support in February 2016.

The Youth Olympic gold medalist recalled how “I got a little taste of it when I was on the undercard when Carl Frampton boxed Scott Quigg, when I came out everyone went crazy.”

“That felt like a home show! It gives you that extra spring in your step, I can only imagine what it’s going to be like in front of my home fans in Belfast. I can’t wait.”

While Burnett acknowledges that Bristolian Haskins is accustomed to fighting on hostile turf – indeed the Englishman has boxed as the away fighter in Belgium and Morocco – he is anticipating something special on June 10th.

Burnett reasoned that “Lee Haskins has been about, he’s been in the game a long time so he’s probably been in this situation before – but the Belfast crowd are proper, they are very passionate for their fighter and will be making plenty of noise on the night for me.”

Tickets will go on sale to Matchroom Fight Pass members on Wednesday May 3rd, with tickets on general sale the following day (Thursday May 4th) – full ticket details will be released soon.

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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