Former world champion and Burnett trainer Ricky Hatton is expecting a tough night for the home favourite on saturday against his current fighter Zhanat Zhakiyanov. The pair do battle in a bantamweight unification showdown with the WBA & IBF belts on the line and Hatton thinks Burnett has his work cut out for him –
“Ryan’s done everything asked of him so far but he’s going to have to show more than his talent in this one. If he doesn’t nail Zhanat to the canvas in the first few rounds he’s in for a very tough night.
The pair are familiar with each other and have sparred many rounds in the past –
“They’ve sparred together and Ryan probably just edged the sessions with those big gloves and head guard but times and circumstances change. Now he’s in for a heap load of trouble once that bell goes.”
Hatton also says that ‘ZZ’ has shown his grit and warrior mentality in his win against Rau’shee Warren when he got dropped but went on to claim the WBA belt –
“Zhanat was never going to beat Warren on just boxing ability alone, he was going to beat him with a lot of heart and will to win the World Title. We had a good game plan overall but he made fundamental mistakes in the first round. I told him not to stand-off Warren because he’ll ping you and what happened – he stood off and ended up on his arse. He can’t start the same against Ryan with all his skill.
“He’s learnt lessons from it and come away with a world title. He went to Ohio in Warren’s backyard to take his belt and this time he goes into Ryan’s backyard so it’s nothing new to him and the experience will help.