Hearn eyes Summer Belfast fight for Ryan Burnett


It’s next stop Cardiff for Ryan Burnett [18(9)-0] and, while America is calling, it looks like a Summer return to Belfast is on the cards.

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn is hopeful he can make a global name of the WBA champion in 2018 and has placed him on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight unification clash with New Zealand’s Joseph Parker at the Principality Stadium on Saturday March 31st.

That move will see a fighter who unified World titles in 2017 fight in front of a potential 80,000 fans as well be afforded the chance to impress a worldwide audience, including American fight fans via Showtime.

It’s obvious Hearn is keen to market the Adam Booth-trained fighter further afield and an American debut is certainly drawing near, but if 25-year-old Burnett overcomes mandatory challenger Yonfrez Parejo of Venezuela and retains his remaining WBA title he will bring another big fight night back to Belfast in the Summer.

“This is going to be a very big year for Ryan. The plan is to have him boxing three times and he’s going to be in big fights. Ideally, I’d like to see him in another unification fight in Belfast this summer,” Hearn told the Belfast Telegraph.

That will be music to Irish fight fans ears and its certainly good news for likes of MHD duo Paul Hyland and James Tennyson, who have been the main beneficiaries of Matchroom’s recent visits to Belfast.

However, it seems apparent Belfast will have to share the World champion with fans across the Atlantic as American TV networks begin to take an interest.

HBO chief Peter Nelson was ringside as Burnett unified titles by defeating former stablemate Zhanat Zhakiyanov in October and is keen to see more of the Antrim Road fighter.

“Peter Nelson was wanting me to bring Ryan to the States in April to be part of the Danny Jacobs card but that was going to be too late for our plans to hopefully have him out again in early summer time,” outlined Hearn.

“There’s no backward steps going to be taken with Ryan, he wants big fights and it’s the big challenges that will bring out the best in him.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo GuglielminottI – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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