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Burnett: rock bottom feeling driving my bid for more glory

 

By David Kelly

Belfast world champion Ryan Burnett says he is ready to do whatever it takes to overcome the challenge of ring legend Nonito Donaire in his quest to land the Muhammad Ali trophy and the massive financial rewards that will come with it.

Burnett has gone from living in a car for six weeks to owning a house on the back of IBF and WBA world bantamweight title joy and this evening in Glasgow's SSE Hydro Arena he aims to keep his amazing rise going with victory over Donaire in their World Boxing Super Series quarter-final with his title on the line.

The memory of that period, when as an unbeaten fighter he couldn't afford to pay rent, will drive him on.

"I know what it's like to hit rock bottom and I'm not going back there," said Burnett. "I was sleeping in a car that belonged to my old manager Ricky Hatton because I couldn't pay rent. Then I hooked up with coach Adam Booth and have managed to buy my own house which is something I was determined to do."

Donaire and Burnett, who both weighed inside the 118lb limit at the first attempt yesterday, are expected to serve up an exciting clash with the general consensus being that the 26-year-old Belfast man will retain his WBA title and move on to a WBSS semi-final clash with WBO champion Zolani Tete of South Africa.

But Burnett expects Donaire to provide his toughest test.

"It's an honour to share the ring with Nonito, he's such a great fighter and I'm expecting the best Nonito Donaire to bring out an amazing performance in me," added Burnett.

Coach and manager Booth also dismissed the suggestion that 35-year-old Donaire, having moved down from featherweight since his loss to Carl Frampton, will not be the same potent force he once was.

"Donaire has gone from flyweight to featherweight, winning world titles, and only a few months ago gave Carl Frampton a very good fight and hurt him a couple of times and that was at featherweight so we know what his power is going to be like at bantamweight," said Booth.

Tonight's bill, headlined by Scottish light-welterweight Josh Taylor, is free to view on World Boxing Super Series' YouTube.

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