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Brilliant Burnett has the world in his hands


Eddie Hearn and Ryan Burnett
Eddie Hearn and Ryan Burnett

By David Kelly

Promoter Eddie Hearn says he wants Ryan Burnett to be one of the biggest names in world boxing by the end of the year.

Hearn has confirmed that Burnett will defend his WBA world bantamweight title on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's world heavyweight unification clash with New Zealand's Joseph Parker at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff on March 31.

Burnett has had to vacate the IBF bantamweight title that he won last June due to the governing body's demands for the Belfast man to make a mandatory defence. Instead, Burnett will be facing the No.1 challenger for his WBA belt, Yonfrez Parejo of Venezuela.

"This is going to be a very big year for Ryan. The plan is to have him boxing three times and he's going to be in big fights. Ideally, I'd like to see him in another unification fight in Belfast this summer," said Hearn (right with Burnett).

The Matchroom Boxing boss had been weighing up taking Burnett to the States and believes that opportunity will come as the bantamweight's stock continues to rise. Indeed, at his last fight in Belfast on October, HBO chief Peter Nelson flew in to be at ringside.

"Peter Nelson was wanting me to bring Ryan to the States in April to be part of the Danny Jacobs card but that was going to be too late for our plans to hopefully have him out again in early summer time," said Hearn. "There's no backward steps going to be taken with Ryan, he wants big fights and it's the big challenges that will bring out the best in him."

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