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Coach Booth has Ryan Burnett primed for world title fight


By David Kelly

Should Ryan Burnett realise his dream and land the IBF World bantamweight title on June 10, it will have as much to do with his development away from the ring as it does the work in the gym.

Thrown into the spotlight of headlining at Belfast's SSE Arena in a challenge to World champion Lee Haskins, some would have given the impression of the proverbial rabbit in the headlights. Not Burnett.

The unbeaten Belfast fighter, who turned 25 on Sunday, calmly went about his media duties at yesterday's public work-out in Castle Court shopping centre before explaining the seismic influence of coach Adam Booth.

Burnett is taking a major step up in the class of fighter he has met so far when challenging the vastly experienced Haskins. Indeed, some may have held him back but Booth chose to give promoter Eddie Hearn the green light for his leap of faith in the talented bantam.

Living with Booth during his long training camps, Burnett says he has been honed into a genuine World title contender.

"I do feel different leading up to this fight and the difference is that I'm just enjoying it so much. I said to Adam the other day, two weeks of really tough sparring and it doesn't even feel like it, I'm enjoying it so much," said Burnett.

"I feel that I have developed in the ring and outside the ring. I've grown up a lot, Adam has taught me how to interact with people, how to talk to people, how to be a good person.

"A few years ago I was a bit of a loose-head and Adam has put the reins on me, calmed me down and taught me how to be the right person so he's not just a coach inside the ring, he's a coach outside the ring as well, a mentor.

"He has developed my character... basically the real rights and wrongs of life, how to go about life and deal with situations - how to deal with myself and keep my mind right.

"I live with Adam, I see how he goes about his day-to-day life - every day with him is a teaching day.

"He knows how precious time is and the fundamental qualities of life. There's a lot of people in today's world who don't have the fundamentals of what important things are in life and what should be appreciated - a lot of people are watching life go by and that's something that I used to do but now I take time to appreciate every single thing that is being done for me, just living in the moment.

"I feel more grounded as a person and that's important."

Burnett has been in the heat of preparation at his base in London, chalking up the rounds of sparring as he counts down to the chance he has craved since turning professional four years ago.

"I always knew this day would come and that it would be about me and now it is about me," added Burnett.

"I've been in the sport for a few years now and the time has come that this is my event. I'm enjoying the extra media attention and just enjoying every moment of this.

"I've been working with Charlie Edwards, Lucien Reid and Eric Donovan in sparring and Adam's very happy with the sparring.

"I've got a nice black eye so you can see that they're testing me!"

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph