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I have to show my nasty side to take World crown: Burnett


By David Kelly

Ryan Burnett has the air of a young colt rattling the starting gate, eager to prove he's a real thoroughbred.

Tomorrow night at Belfast's SSE Arena, he bids to wrench away the IBF World bantamweight title from the grasp of champion Lee Haskins. This is the moment he has craved and the tension is clearly rising.

While 33-year-old southpaw Haskins smiled his way through the final press conference ahead of their clash, Burnett oozed intensity.

To this point in his career under coach and manager Adam Booth, unbeaten Belfast man Burnett has chalked up victories with a clinical precision but he expects an extra dimension against Haskins.

"I'm naturally very nasty, I don't like to think of myself that way but Adam says that I am. Adam has taught me how to control that, hold it back and be patient but I know I can be nastier than anyone has seen and unleash it at the right time," said Burnett.

"I need to show that nasty side and on Saturday night against such a high-profile fighter the opportunity will arise and with that you will see the best Ryan Burnett.

"Adam has told me exactly what I have to do. Haskins can be an awkward character but it's a fight that I wanted and I know I can take it.

"Believe me when I say that whatever he brings to the table, I'll have the answer.

"On Saturday night I will become World champion and I will be coming back to Belfast as much as I can.

"Throughout my amateur career the better the opponent I faced, the better I boxed and it's going to be the same here.

"I haven't faced anyone as good as Lee Haskins but with that challenge comes the best Ryan Burnett."

So, does the 25-year-old expect to be stretched as never before in order to make his dream come true?

"If I perform the way I do then I don't think so. Adam has been very happy with me, the camp has flowed perfectly - this has been my best training camp and I'm not just saying that because of the occasion and because of the fight I have in front of me. It has been great and that gives me even more confidence," he said.

"I really think that his style suits me. I'd be stupid not to think it will be a tough fight, I've prepared for the best Lee Haskins."

Promoter Eddie Hearn says he believes around 4,000 will be in the arena and Burnett is hoping they will just fortify his belief that the World belt will be his.

"I'm very pleased with the response of the Belfast people. I've paid my dues across the water, training and fighting there, so I was a bit worried how the tickets would go but thankfully Belfast is coming out in force and there will be plenty here to support me."

Hearn said he was very disappointed with Tommy McCarthy after pulling out of his fight with Cuban Mike Perez, who remains on the bill.

Hearn said: "McCarthy's manager Pat Magee agreed to the fight. He put on an email what he wanted and I said 'deal done'. The fight was made and then Pat came back and said he was worried about Perez turning up, about his weight and his visa and I explained it was all fine. It's a pity because it would have been a great fight."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph