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Hard-fought win for Ryan Burnett in Leeds

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World title-chasing bantamweight Ryan Burnett was made to work for his win this evening in Leeds.

Fighting on the Warrington-Hyland undercard at the First Direct Arena, the Belfast man took on rangy Mexican Cesar Ramirez and emerged victorious on the scorecards (100-89, 99-90 z2) after ten rounds.

A cagey first round gave way to a more open second stanza, with Burnett switching southpaw and looking to land big shots on his long Nayarit opponent.

The third saw more success for the 24 year old, but Ramirez’s awkward and defensive style was causing him a bit of frustration and the Mexican also scored a couple of quick counters.

Burnett was on top again in the fourth as Ramirez edged deeper into his shell, taking little but throwing even less back.

The North American sprang into action in the fifth, a much more open three minutes, implementing the jab well and forcing Burnett back, but the Youth Olympic gold medalist finally had the opportunity to land some counters.

Growing into a fight, the sixth was a close but scrappy affair, with Burnett maybe shading it on activity.

The 28 year old Ramirez’s attempts to build a beachhead were reversed though in a dominant seventh for Burnett who controlled the action and landed multiple unanswered shots.

Burnett finally put his man down in the eighth with a crunching bodyshot. Ramirez rose quickly and rode out the round and would spend the ninth in full survival mode as Burnett stalked for the stoppage.

The tenth and final round saw Burnett and a couple of big hooks to leave Ramirez on wobbly legs, but the game Latino lasted until the final bell

Burnett retains the rankings-enhancing WBC International belt with the tough, but one-sided win that saw him finish strong.

The victories sees Burnett stretch his unbeaten streak to 14(9)-0, while Ramirez drops to 12(6)-3(1) after the loss in a fight where he really earned his purse.

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