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Ryan Burnett's world title unification fight in Belfast gets massive U.S. TV platform

Burnett’s big fight will air on HBO in the States.

IBF WORLD BANTAMWEIGHT champion Ryan Burnett will have his 21 October bout with WBA equivalent Zhanat Zhakiyanov broadcast on HBO, the American broadcasting giant has confirmed.

Burnett, a former gym-mate and sparring partner of the Kazakh, ripped the IBF strap from Lee Haskins at the SSE Arena in June, and will return to the same venue for October’s massive clash.

Zhakiyanov will also make his first defence of his own belt, having edged American Rau’shee Warren in February. The 33-year-old has lost just once in 28 fights, while 25-year-old Burnett became an undefeated world champion in his 17th bout last time out.

The pair trained together under Ricky Hatton before Burnett made the switch to Adam Booth, who also trains his compatriot Andy Lee.

Burnett is a former student of St Patrick’s College on Belfast’s Antrim Road, and briefly counted two-time Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes amongst his fellow students. Burnett himself is a former Youth Olympics gold medallist, and won World Youth silver the same year, in 2010.

His unification bout will be broadcast on Sky Sports in these parts, while HBO will air it in America on the same night as they beam Jezreel Corrales’s WBA World super-featherweight title defence versus Alberto Machado to their 130 million or so worldwide subscribers.

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