The North Belfast lad dethroned IBF bantamweight champion Lee Haskins earlier this month at the SSE Odyssey Arena with a dominant points win, and it is hoped for a return to the same venue by the end of 2018 – with Matchroom indicating that this will be the case.
In terms of possible opponents, there seems to be two options, a mandatory defence against Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez [16(11) or a unification with WBA champ and former gym-mate Zhanat Zhakiyanov [27(18)-1(0)]
Burnett is keen to face big and tough tests noting how “I know that staying World champion is tougher than becoming World champion – and that’s the challenge that I’m looking forward to.”
“There’s some great fights out there and I’ve already beaten a top World champion in Lee so I feel ready to take on all comers.
“I’ll move at the pace that Adam Booth and Eddie Hearn decide is right and take on anyone that they put in my path. Winning the title on my home patch was a dream come true and we can have some massive nights in Belfast now.”
Considering that Eddie Hearn’s Belfast associate Mark Dunlop runs a show at the Europa Hotel on September 30th, the need for Burnett to recover from a nasty cut and subsequent surgery, and the Matchroom Boxing schedule, a return to Belfast would have to come on November 11th at the very earliest – but could come on any of the following five weekends.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)