Ryan Burnett vs Zhanat Zhakiyanov – IBF & WBA Bantamweight titles
Belfast – Saturday October 21st
Ryan Burnett is a man full of confidence as he looks to push his way to the top of the bantamweight ladder. Remarkably, in only his 18th the IBF champ is aiming to become a unified world champion. Standing in his way is the teak tough, Ricky Hatton trained WBA champion Zhanat Zhakiyanov from Kazakhstan. The two fighter’s are former gym mates and have sparred many rounds together so they will have a good idea of what to expect from each other.
Burnett put on a career-best display when he ripped the title from Lee Haskins in June. With every fight under trainer Adam Booth he’s been progressing and improving and he will need to up his game again this Saturday if he wants to take home those belts.
Zhakiyanov has shown that he has what it takes to dig in and grind out results when he needs to. In his last fight against Rau’shee Warren, he went to Warren’s home turf, got up from the canvas and still managed to battle to a spit decision points win to claim the WBA belt. So make no mistake, he’s one tough operator. And with 18 ko’s in 27 wins, he can really pack a punch
Im expecting Burnett to try to box at range as Zhakiyanov looks to back Burnett up and go to work up close. At some stage Burnett will be forced to stand and trade but he will need to dart in and out and use his superior footwork to stick to his game-plan. Zhakiyanov will have to drag Burnett into a grueling battle if he stands any chance of taking home the belts. He wont have the skills to outbox Burnett, so a toe to toe battle is his best option.
I think we could see both fighters hit the canvas at some point as they are forced to dig deep in a hard-fought 12 round battle. But I just think Burnett’s skill-set and superior boxing ability will earn him the win in the end…
Ryan Burnett wins on points – split decision
Agree or disagree, then leave your opinion below…