Ryan Burnett will face World Boxing Super Series winner

He still has two fights to go, but Bob Arum believes that Naoya Inoue will take the IBF bantamweight title off Emmanuel Rodriguez this Saturday night before unifying versus WBA champ Nonito Donaire.

Then, he will face Ireland’s Ryan Burnett, giving the Belfast boxer the chance to win back the belts he claimed in 2017 and was dispossessed of last year.

Burnett signed with Top Rank last year, leaving Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Promotions, and is set to be joined on Arum’s books by fearsome Japanese KO artist Inoue following the conclusion of the ongoing World Boxing Super Series.

While Burnett steps up to super bantamweight and goes for a WBC ranking this Friday night at the Ulster Hall, the long-term plan is for him to face the WBSS winner.

Inoue challenges IBF champ Rodriguez in the semis in Scotland this Saturday, looking to become a three-weight world champion and join Donaire in the final.

The Filipino legend defeated number-one seed Burnett in the quarters after the Irishman was forced to pull out with an oblique injury last November and he would subsequently make the final with a sensational KO of late replacement Stephen Young.

A Donaire-Burnett repeat, obviously, also makes sense – however, Inoue is a heavy odds on favourite to steam through both Rodriguez and Donaire.

Arum explained how “we signed Ryan Burnett and we’re putting him in a fight but we’re on hold now because of the World Boxing Super Series.”

“Donaire will be in the final and Donaire beat him because of his back and we have a whole history with Donaire, we’ve promoted a lot of his fights. He’s a nice guy and that could be a very pleasing fight.”

“Inoue is fighting Rodriguez this weekend and I think Inoue is terrific, I think Inoue wins and we have a deal that after this tournament Inoue signs with Top Rank.”

“If the final is between Inoue and Donaire, we can have Burnett fight the winner as soon as they’re able to do the fight.”


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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