Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Boxing

Burnett can clean up bantamweight division AND move on up, says boxing legend


By David Kelly

Ryan Burnett is now ready to "clean up" the bantamweight division, according to legendary boxing promoter Barney Eastwood.

Burnett's gruelling victory over Zhanat Zhakiyanov at the SSE Arena has shown the world, according to Eastwood, that the Belfast man is the number one at 118lb and ready for every challenge that comes his way.

"I thought Ryan was brilliant on Saturday night. He went even further up in my opinion of him with the way he beat a very tough fighter, an iron man in Zhakiyanov," said Eastwood, who was at ringside in the SSE Arena.

"It may not have been as exciting a fight to some but I thought it was a very good fight and some of the work up close was very impressive - not just the punching but the way Burnett handled himself and refused to be bullied by Zhakiyanov.

"Every time I see Ryan he lifts himself by a big percentage and the biggest factor in his favour is that the better the opposition, the bigger the challenge the better he fights.

"He has a deep belief that he can't be beaten and I've no doubt that he can clean up the division and then even move up to super-bantamweight and win another world title. He knows no fear and it's going to take a very, very good fighter to beat him."

While saluting the tenacity of Burnett, Eastwood felt he could have made life easier for himself on Saturday night.

"I thought if he had used his jab more he could have outboxed the guy but it seemed he wanted to show everyone that he could fight as well as box," he added.

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph