Burnett eyeing a big homecoming
Promotor Eddie Hearn is planning to headline a Belfast show with British bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett later in the year but before that he expects the 23-year-old to pick up another belt.
Burnett will face Frenchman Anthony Settoul for the vacant WBC international crown at the Manchester Arena on February 27 as part of the supporting bill to Carl Frampton's World title clash with Scott Quigg, which will be screened live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Victory will lead to Matchroom boxing boss Hearn heading to the SSE Arena with Burnett at the end of April or early May.
Settoul, 29, lost on a majority points decision in a European title fight, while last year he was stopped in two rounds by current WBO super-bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire.
Despite those losses, he is nevertheless a step up in class for Burnett.
The Belfast man claimed the British crown at the same venue in November with a shut-out win over veteran Jason Booth, whom many felt he would have stopped. Now, before thousands of Northern Ireland supporters, Burnett has the opportunity to show his true potential.
"I cannot wait to perform in front of a sold-out crowd with so many fans coming over from Belfast," said Burnett. "The atmosphere is going to be electric and that's going to lift me to a career-best performance.
"This is a massive opportunity for me to impress on a huge occasion, and while I know Settoul will be coming over to spoil the party, there's no way I will let him."
Promoter Hearn is eager to see the best of Burnett as he looks to push him up the European and World bantamweight rankings.
"Over the next 12 months, starting with February 27, I would like to see Ryan have five fights. He's a talented young man who can be pushed on - his coach Adam Booth has a lot of belief in him and Adam has worked with some great fighters," said Hearn.
"This is the perfect opportunity for Ryan and the timing couldn't be better. There's going to be about 10,000 Northern Irish fans in the arena supporting Carl Frampton against Scott Quigg."
Cyclone Promotions are releasing a limited number of production hold tickets for Frampton-Quigg.
The tickets will go on sale via Ticketmaster on www.ticketmaster.ie at 9am tomorrow. The direct link to the tickets is http://www.ticketmaster.ie/venueartist/461675/821625.