Burnett to meet Zhakiyanov in world bantamweight title unification fight

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 3, 2017

Ryan Burnett is set for a mouthwatering October Belfast showdown with Zhanat Zhakiyanov for the IBF and WBA bantamweight belts in what will be Ireland's first ever title unification fight.

The fight also represents Burnett's first defence of the IBF title he so impressively won from Lee Haskins at the same venue in June, and WBA champion Zhakiyanov's maiden outing since winning world honours in February.

"A lot has changed since for me we last sparred but not with him". I know a few things about him.

"I'm very, very excited!"

The development comes swiftly after the late cancellation of Carl Frampton's match-up with Andres Gutierrez, and fellow Belfast local Burnett said: 'This is the path I've always believed in and asked for, to be not just a world champion but a great world champion. "That can only work in my favour". "I wouldn't have it any other way".

Former world champion Ricky Hatton will resume his training duties with Zhakiyanov, while respected trainer Adam Booth will be plotting another memorable triumph for Burnett.

"This is exactly the fight that propels me into that position".

"The Belfast fans have really took a shine to me especially since my last fight, everything has taken off and I'm just looking forward to getting back to the SSE Arena with a packed house behind me", Burnett added.

"I've won against all titleholders that my management team put in front of me", Zhakiyanov said, listing the various opponents he beat for regional titles. "In Switzerland in 2011, in Sheffield in against Karim Guerfi, in Vraza against Hector Guzman, in Monaco against Yonfrez Parejo and in OH against Warren. Ryan Burnett will not be different from what I've always achieved".

Promoter Eddie Hearn paid tribute to Burnett and said he was delighted to be part of making history in Belfast.

Ryan claimed his IBF world title with victory over previous title holder, Lee Haskins in Belfast earlier this year.

Ryan Burnett can continue his remarkable rise when he battles Zhanat Zhakiyanov in a world bantamweight title unification clash in Belfast, live on Sky Sports. The fight will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Details on the undercard and tickets will be released at a press conference next week.

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