WATCH: Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov – First Face-off

Ryan Burnett [17(11)-0] renewed acquaintances with Zhanat Zhakiyanov [27(18)-1(0)] this afternoon in Belfast ahead of their bantamweight unification this Autumn.

Belfast’s IBF champion goes up against the Manchester-based Kazakh WBA champion on a big Matchroom bill at the SSE Odyssey Arena on Saturday October 21st.

Former sparring partners while Burnett was trained by Ricky Hatton – Zhakiyanov remains under the tutelage of the two-weight world champ – the pair met today at the first official press conference for the card at the Europa Hotel.

A cordial affair, the two fighters faced off at the conclusion of all the talk.

As always, Burnett intensely stared-down his man – before sharing a lighter moment with his former gym mate as they posed for photos.

Watch Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov face-off below:

Video courtesy of IFL TV

The Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov undercard features Paul Hyland v Stephen Ormond, Tyrone McKenna v Tommy Coyle, James Tennyson v Darren Traynor, Feargal McCrory, Jay Byrne, and Josh Kelly, with more still to be announced.

Tickets for the night cost £30, £40, £60, £100, £150 (VIP), and are available from the boxers involved or through HERE

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: