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Ryan Burnett shoots up bantamweight rankings following unification win

Ryan Burnett has rocketed up the bantamweight rankings following his unification win at the weekend in Belfast.

The Antrim Road 25 year old defeated Kazakh Zhanat Zhakiyanov to unify the IBF and WBA 118lbs titles.

The win has seen Burnett [18(9)-0] climb to the summit of the bantamweight rankings with the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board – the sport’s most reputable ratings outfit.

Before Saturday Burnett had been ranked at #8, with Zhakiyanov at #2.

The unanimous decision win for the Irishman has seen him climb to #1, dislodging WBC champ Luis Nery, while Zhakiyanov drops to #3.

For Burnett to be deemed champion a new lineage would have to begin – the first in 30 years, since Venezuelan Bernardo Piñango – and he would have to engage in a #1 v #2 fight with Nery [24(18)-0].

The Mexican upset long-reigning WBC champ Shinsuke Yamanaka in August, scoring a fourth round stoppage, but would fail a post-fight drugs test. Traces of Zilpaterol, a bulking agent used in cattle, were found in Nery’s system and he would claim that it was a result of eating contaminated meat.

‘Pantera,’ who fights Arthur Villanueva in a non-title bout next week, is supported in this claim by WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman.

The TBRB bantamweight rankings in full are:

Champion: Vacant
1: Ryan Burnett – [18(9)-0] – Ireland
2: Luis Nery – [24(18)-0-0] – Mexico
3: Zhanat Zhakiyanov – [27(18)-2] – Kazakhstan
4: Shinsuke Yamanaka – [27(19)-1(1)-2] – Japan
5: Juan Carlos Payano – [19(9)-1-0] – Dominican Republic
6: Jamie McDonnell – [29(0)-2-1] – Great Britain
7: Liborio Solis – [25(11)-5(0)-1] – Venezuela
8: Zolani Tete – [25(20)-3(1)-0] – South Africa
9: Yonfrez Parejo – [21(10)-2(1)-1] – Venezuela
10: Omar Andres Narvaez – [47(25)-2(1)-2] – Argentina

The only other Irish fighter to feature in a TRBR Top Ten is Belfast featherweight Carl Frampton [23(14)-1(0)] – who is ranked #2 at 126lbs.


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