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Burnett focuses on himself as he prepares for his return in Belfast

 

Big night: Ryan Burnett can’t wait to star at the Ulster Hall
Big night: Ryan Burnett can’t wait to star at the Ulster Hall

By Paddy Tierney

Ryan Burnett feels he doesn't need a major fight to secure his status in the sport as he prepares to make his return at the Ulster Hall tomorrow night.

Burnett takes on Filipino Jelbirt Gomera for the WBC super-bantamweight international title as he bids to get back on track having lost his unbeaten record in heartbreaking circumstances last November.

A freak oblique injury forced the north Belfast native to retire after four rounds of his World Boxing Super Series quarter-final against Nonito Donaire, but he could be back fighting for a world title by the end of the year.

Top Rank boss Bob Arum was in Belfast earlier this week and he believes Burnett could take on the winner of the WBSS, especially if Naoya Inoue takes on Donaire in the final.

Donaire is through after Zolani Tete was also forced to withdraw, while Inoue, expected to sign for Top Rank, bids for Emmanuel Rodriguez's IBF bantamweight title on Saturday.

Burnett insists he isn't looking too far ahead of himself.

"I don't feel under any pressure whatsoever," said Burnett. "I have my own goals. I don't feel I have the need to beat anyone for achievement or status. I am just focused on benefiting myself.

"I love Belfast and I love fighting in Belfast.

"I was recently asked, 'If you could fight anywhere in the world, where would it be - Vegas or New York at Madison Square Garden? I said Belfast because I think Belfast brings that different atmosphere.

"I've fought twice for world titles in the Odyssey (SSE Arena) and the atmosphere in your home town is incredible. If I have the choice, it is Belfast all day long."

He added: "I've always wanted to fight in the Ulster Hall. I've been to a few shows there and the atmosphere is special. Now I get the chance to experience that as the headline act. It is going to be a packed house so I am looking forward to it."

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