Ryan Burnett vacates British bantamweight title

Unbeaten Belfast bantamweight Ryan Burnett [16(9)-0] has vacated his British title ahead of an assault on European and/or world honours.

The Adam Booth-trained fighter had been ordered to defend his strap against mandatory challenger Josh Wale [23(11)-9(2)-2] and has therefore relinquished his Lonsdale belt as he goes in search of bigger fights.

The North Belfast fighter won the strap on his Matchroom debut back in where he dropped and widely outpointed the veteran Jason Booth. Burnett would defend the belt once, travelling to Liverpool to take on Scouser Ryan Farrag, winning an exciting twelve-round points decision over the recent European champion.

The 24 year old most recently fought in February, outpointing game Mexican Joseafat Reyes.

Burnett is ranked #1 with the EBU and is in line to fight for the European title against the winner of the ordered bout between Stephane Jamoye and Karim Guerfi. The Ulsterman is also ranked #12 with the WBA, #13 with the WBO, and #6 with the WBC.

The vacated British belt will now be contested by Wale and Scotsman Jamie Wilson [10(1)-1(1)].

For Burnett, a Belfast homecoming has long been promised by Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn. This would look to take place in June at the very earliest. Another possibility is he features as a chief support at the 3Arena in Dublin on the Katie Taylor homecoming tentatively scheduled for November.

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