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'Three fights and then he's ready': Ryan Burnett could be Ireland's next world boxing champion

A Burnett world title fight would be the first in Belfast since Carl Frampton defeated Chris Avalos.

Ryan Burnett looks set to fight for the world title in 2017.
Ryan Burnett looks set to fight for the world title in 2017.
Image: Peter Byrne

BOXER RYAN BURNETT has been assured that he is next in line to get a crack at the IBF world bantamweight belt once Lee Haskins and Stuart Hall face off later this year.

Burnett, a native of Belfast and a former amateur boxer for Ireland, has been making great strides in the bantamweight division and Matchroom Sport’s chief, Eddie Hearn believes that the 24-year old is ready for a shot at the title.

“We’ve got Stuart Hall against Lee Haskins which I’ve just won the purse bids for. I want Burnett to fight the winner of that fight,” said Hearn.

“There’s a three-fight plan now for Ryan Burnett. To box on 30 July, then again in September, then again in December – and then he’s ready to fight for the world title.”

Carl Frampton v Scott Quigg - Manchester Arena Ryan Burnett defeated Anthony Settoul to claim Vacant WBC International Bantamweight Championship. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Burnett, who is the current British, WBO European and WBC International Bantanweight champion, comes from a nationalist background and trained at Gerry Storey’s Holy Family Boxing Club as an amateur.

The gym is widely renowned for breaking down political and religious barriers in Northern Ireland with boxers such as Paddy Barnes and Carl Frampton having also fought out of the gym.

Hearn has also assured the former gold medalist at the Olympic Youth Games that he will have the luxury of a home crowd when he eventually does fight for the title.

“I want to take Ryan Burnett to Belfast when he’s challenging for a world title – and that will come in February or March next year.

“We have these three fights, then he’s ready for any of the champions.”

Singapore Youth Olympics Boxing Ryan Burnett is overjoyed after winning gold at the 2010 Olympic Youth Games. Source: Sam Kang Li

The Belfast native and his trainer Adam Booth – who also trains former Irish world champion Andy Lee – will first have to concentrate on his bout on the 30 July which serves as an undercard for Dubliner Patrick Hyland’s fight with Josh Warrington at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.

Burnett has noted the positive influence Lee and other champion boxers have had on him in the gym as he works hard to maintain his unbeaten 13-0 record.

“Working with Andy and the other guys in the gym is great. We are a close knit group and we all help each other.

“Andy is a former World champion. He has been there and done it and he has been in the game a long time.

“If I am not learning off Adam or Andy then I am learning off the other guys in the gym.”

An opponent for Burnett at the end of the month has still to be decided upon, but for now, fans of the Belfast man have a lot to look forward to in the coming months.

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