Ryan Burnett [16(9)-0] believes he is now ready to make the step up to world level and becomes Ireland’s only current world champion on June 10th.
The North Belfast bantamweight takes on IBF champion Lee Haskins [34(13)-3(3)] in the headline fight of a big Matchroom Sky Sports bill at the SSE Odyssey Arena in just under six weeks time.
Burnett feels he has done the necessary preparations for the fight in the gym and in the ring over the past few years, and that everything will come together in Belfast next month against the awkward southpaw from Bristol.
Since linking up with Adam Booth in late 2014, Burnett notes how he has come on leaps and bounds and described how “Adam has been teaching me stuff that I didn’t even know existed!”
“I thought I knew boxing, but when I went with Adam I quickly realised I didn’t know much at all. It’s been just over two years since I’ve been working with him.”
“He’s taken away my bad habits and bringing me round to being a World class fighter.”
Booth, who has stated that he will let Burnett ‘off the leash’ against Haskins, has ensured and instructed Burnett to go the rounds in a number of fights since linking up with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Promotions, in which time he won and defended the British title.
There has certainly been a feeling that Burnett has been adding strings to his bow in this time. He showed his more physical side when he defended his Lonsdale belt in Liverpool against Ryan Farrag last year, and went eight rounds with Mexican southpaw Joseafat Reyes
Burnett outlined how “the Farrag fight was one of my tougher tests, I fought the best Farrag. Adam was very happy with how I dealt with it.”
“Looking back, it was a good learning fight for me.
“I boxed a southpaw earlier this year in Hull and we’ll have plenty of southpaw sparring in the gym. We’ve already been sparring quite a bit to get me in the correct rhythm so I don’t think the stance [of Haskins] will bother me much.”
24 year old Burnett is expecting a tough fight from Haskins, who will be making the second defence of the belt won against Ivan Morales last year, but believes he now has the well-rounded style to test and best the Englishman.
“Lee is very good, skilful. he admitted. “But I know he hasn’t fought anyone like me before and what I bring to the table. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles it.”
“Haskins vs. Hall was a close fight, I thought Haskins just edged it. It showed a lot of Lee’s character. Boxing under pressure. It wasn’t his best performance. Stuart Hall came with so much tenacity but I believe the right man won on the night.”
LISTEN: Mick Conlan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 4 of The Irish Boxing Show