Job Done: Painful injury no problem for champion Ryan Burnett


It was a strange mix of style and substance as an injured Ryan Burnett [19(9)-0] made sure he retained his WBA bantamweight world title last night in Cardiff.

The Belfast 25-year-old injured his hand early in the third round of his mandatory defence against Venezuela’s Yonfrez Parejo on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight unification win over Joseph Parker at the Principality Stadium.

To his credit, the Matchroom star dealt with nine rounds of pain but, rather than just bite down on his gum-shield, the Olympic Youth gold medal winner used his style and skill to ease to a wide points win, with two judges giving him a 120-108 whitewash and one giving a fairly harsh 116-112 tally.

Burnett was heard in the corner after the halfway mark noting his hand injury, but he revealed afterwards that the issue developed even earlier in the contest.

Speaking back in his dressing room, the Antrim Road man told BBC NI that “to be honest, I felt myself warming into it, but early in the third round I caught him with a right hand and I felt my hand go.”

“Whenever I tried to use it again after it was out of action. I couldn’t throw it whatsoever so I just had to rely on my boxing skill to get me through the rounds and make sure I won the fight.”

“I was solely focused on staying sharp and making him miss and I knew I couldn’t throw the right hand. Anytime it was even getting close to landing it was giving me a shooting pain.”

“Some fighters would let it go to their head and lose the game plan but I was focused on what I had to do. Since I got the injury I stuck to my boxing and held it together well. He was my mandatory so he was no mug and knew exactly what to do.”

“I thought I was capable of controlling him with one hand.”

In terms of what’s next, the second season of the World Boxing Super Series was suggested by promoter Eddie Hearn but Burnett was non-committal on his future plans

He outlined how “I haven’t looked into it whatsoever [the WBSS]. I was just focused completely on this fight. I will leave that down to Adam [Booth, manager and trainer] and I will focus on what I can control and take it from there.”

“I don’t know it’s just back to the drawing board. Once I get my head stitched and my hand fixed, it’s back to the drawing board.”

“If had the option, I would go straight to Belfast next, give me Vegas or Belfast and I would go to Belfast.”

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