Newly crowned IBF Bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett is in relaxed mood ahead of his unification bout against Zhanat Zhakiyanov. Burnett will make his first defence at the SSE Arena in Belfast on October 21st. –
” I’m living in the moment and enjoying it, I’m not taking it too seriously and putting too much pressure on my shoulders, I’m just lapping it all up.”
However, Burnett has a steely determination within and knows that he can call on his upbringing and previous experience when he needs to –
” When I was growing up there was a lot of trouble and violence. It was installed into me as a kid to be a fighter, to stand up for myself and fight back, my dad would tell me to keep going even when I was just four or five.
“It all depends on how people are brought up, how they are tuned to life. What they’ve had to face. I’ve faced tasks that other people haven’t had to face and that’s given me a hunger that a lot of people don’t have. I know I have got that dark side that I can turn to, it’s been in me my whole life.”
Burnett’s clash with Zhakiyanov tops a great card for fight fans. Also on the card are – Paul Hyland Jnr defends his IBF European Lightweight title against Stephen Ormond and James Tennyson puts his WBA International Super-Featherweight title against Darren Traynor.
Burnett’s Adam Booth gym mate Josh Kelly fights for the fourth time in the paid ranks, as is his Team GB Rio Olympic teammate Anthony Fowler.
A host of local and Irish talents appear on the bill with exciting Cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy, Super-Lightweight Tyrone McKenna, Lightweights Joe Fitzpatrick and Gary Cully and Super-Featherweight Feargal McCrory.
Tickets are on sale now priced at £33, £44, £65 and £105 from the SSE Arena Belfast at www.ssearenabelfast.com