Ryan Burnett calls out world champ Zhakiyanov following keep-busy win

Ryan Burnett [16(9)-0] kept busy last night in Hull.

The Belfast bantamweight, the current British champion, easily outpointed Joseafat Reyes over eight rounds at the Ice Arena in the early stages of the Gavin McDonnell v Rey Vargas WBC super bantamweight title undercard.

Burnett barely left second gear during the 79:73 win over the Mexican journeyman, with the bout serving as merely an opportunity to stay sharp as he awaits a big title fight.

The North Belfast small man described afterwards how “He was a tough opponent, but I used it for what it was. I went in there, I knew I could practice stuff. I could have put my foot down, start swinging, and try to get him out of there, but he was a southpaw, and I hadn’t boxed a southpaw in a long time.”

“Me and Adam [Booth, trainer] agreed that we’d use it as an experience, and try to use my boxing skill and that’s exactly what I done.”

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn pledged afterwards that it will be a big fight next for Burnett, either a European or World title. The 24 year old only has eyes only for a familiar foe, and the current WBA 118lbs champion.

“I want to box Zhanat [Zhakiyanov], Ricky Hatton’s lad,” Burnett confidently stated.

“I done a bit of work with him when I was younger, I was only a kid, I was only 19, 20, and he was a grown man. We had great sparring sessions. But now I think I’ve developed as a fighter and I’ve matured more.”

“It’s definitely the fight I want. There’s many people out there that would avoid him, but it’s definitely a fight that I want.”

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