Ryan Burnett v Nonito Donaire likely to NOT be in Belfast

Details of Ryan Burnett‘s opening World Boxing Super Series bout are due to be announced this week – and it may not be the news that Irish fight fans were hoping for.

The WBA bantamweight champion takes on former four-weight champ Nonito Donaire [38(24)-5(1)] in the quarter-finals of the big-money knockout tournament and, initially, it looked as though Burnett would be facing the Filipino in his home city of Belfast.

However, it now looks like Burnett [19(9)-0] will fight Donaire in Glasgow on November 3rd.

While nothing is yet confirmed, Irish-Boxing.com are led to believe that the world title fight will take place overseas.

Our reasoning is as follows:
– This season of the World Boxing Super Series features three weights – meaning twelve separate quarter-final bouts. Unlike in Season One which featured just two weights, these match-ups will be ran as double headers, meaning six quarter-final fight nights as opposed to the eight there were last year.

– These six fight nights look set to be ran consecutively from the first weekend of October.

– A number of fight nights have already been confirmed or are already widely reported.

  • Bantamweight favourite Naoya Inoue will fight Juan Carlos Payano in Yokohama, Japan on Sunday October 7th alongside the light welterweight quarter-final between Kiril Relikh and Eduard Troyanovsky.
  • Saturday October 13th will then see WBO bantamweight champion Zolani Tete put his belt on the line versus Russian amateur star Misha Aloyan in Yekaterinburg, Russia alongside a cruiser quarter between Ruslan Fayfer and Andrew Tabiti.
  • New Orleans, USA, will play host to Regis Prograis v Terry Flanagan on Saturday October 27th.
  • Additionally, the Yunier Dorticos v Mateusz Masternak and Krzysztof Glowacki v Maksim Vlasov have been rumoured for October 20th and November 10th respectively.

– WBSS Chief Boxing Officer Kalle Sauerland has revealed that there will be a UK doubleheader and with Manchester’s Flanagan fighting Prograis in America this leaves just Burnett and Scottish light welter Josh Taylor who is down to fight Ryan Martin.

– Having been ticking over the past few months, Burnett returned to London to start camp with coach Adam Booth yesterday, nine weeks out from our believed fight date.

– While Donaire had stated that the fight was likely to land in Belfast, the SSE Odyssey Arena is booked out on every Saturday of the six-week WBSS window.

– Across in Scotland, the SSE Hydro Arena, the most suitable venue for world championship boxing in the country, and venue of Taylor’s last two fights, is free only on Saturday November 3rd.

While it is disappointing on a number of levels that the fight will not take place in Belfast, it looks to be something of an unavoidable situation.

A continued build in his home city would have been greatly beneficial to Burnett and a familiar and well-liked opponent in Donaire, who lost to Carl Frampton at the Odyssey in April, would have massively helped this.

However, with the city’s only venue appropriate for a fight of this scale being unavailable, Scotland looks to be the next best option.

Burnet and Taylor have shared a card before, with both appearing in support slots on the Carl Frampton v Scott Quigg pay-per-view super bantamweight unification in Manchester back in February 2016.

It should be stressed that nothing is confirmed and Irish boxing fans should hold off booking any sort of transport or accommodation until the official announcement later this week.


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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