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WBO kingpin Zolani Tete calls for Ryan Burnett clash


By David Kelly

Ryan Burnett is a man in demand following his world title success at the weekend, with WBO World bantamweight champion Zolani Tete throwing down the gauntlet for a unification showdown in Belfast.

It is understood that Tete's promoter Frank Warren has made an offer to Northern Ireland's newly-crowned IBF bantamweight champion for a mouth-watering battle in Belfast's SSE Arena.

Belfast man Burnett, who dethroned Bristol's Lee Haskins at the SSE Arena on Saturday night with a superb performance, is under pressure to make a mandatory title defence against number one challenger Emmanuel Rodriguez, but can bypass those demands by engaging in a unification duel. Promoter Hearn has said that he will look to have talks with Ricky Hatton, the manager of WBA title holder Zhanat Zhakiyanov of Kazakhstan, about a fight before Christmas, but now Tete is in the mix.

Speaking exclusively to the Belfast Telegraph, South African Tete said: "Now I have the WBO belt I want to clean up the rest of the division. Burnett has the IBF belt and I want it.

"If Burnett wants me to travel to Belfast I will happily do it. He is a warrior and should want to test himself against the best."

Meanwhile, the IBF have confirmed that American judge Clark Sammartino who scored Saturday night's fight for Haskins had done so in error. In a statement the governing body commented: "The bout was declared a split decision when it should have been ruled a unanimous decision in favour of Burnett."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph