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Home » Unification to hospital scare, eventful weekend for Ryan Burnett

Unification to hospital scare, eventful weekend for Ryan Burnett

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Ryan Burnett made history on Saturday night to become Northern Ireland’s unified bantamweight world champion in front of a raucous crowd in Belfast.

A slow start by the home fighter hampered his ability to gain a foothold as the solid and relentless Zhanat Zhakiyanov never took a backward step for the first six rounds.

As the Ricky Hatton-trained Kazakh slowed down in the middle of the contest, Burnett took over for the second half and claimed victory by eight rounds to four on the WBN scorecard.

Ryan Burnett wins

Not so with the judges in a familiar sight of late as two of the three somehow gave Burnett the win 119-109 and 118-110.

The final card of 116-112 mirrored WBN’s as Burnett added the WBA title to his IBF belt to become the number one in the division.

In the aftermath, Burnett was taken to hospital for a check-up after complaining of discomfort, for which he was eventually discharged.

Burnett smiled after linking up with promoter Eddie Hearn in the aftermath and had to celebrate further when confirmed on Monday as the new top dog at 118 pounds.

A breakthrough in the WBN Pound for Pound Top 50 at #31 saw Burnett overhaul ex-unified title holder and UK rival Jamie McDonnell by one place.

This means Burnett leads the way in the bantamweight ranks as Hearn pushes for further unifications in the coming year.

McDonnell and Paul Butler, both Burnett’s stablemates, have been mentioned as potential opponents since the Zhakiyanov triumph.

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