Burnett vs Zhakiyanov: Ryan Burnett intent on becoming a ‘great’ world champion

Ryan Burnett believes that victory over Zhanat Zhakiyanov will help towards his goal of becoming a “great” world champion.

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October 21, 2017, 7:30pm

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The 25-year-old defends his IBF bantamweight belt against WBA ‘super’ title holder Zhakiyanov in Belfast this Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.

Speaking at Thursday’s press conference, Burnett admits that he feels blessed to be fighting in his home city and the Northern Irish star is intent on becoming a unified world champion.

“This is a massive night for me, I don’t want to just be a world champion, I want to be a great world champion,” he said.

“To have this opportunity to fight another world champion in my home city is something I’ve always wanted and I feel blessed.

“With every fighter you have to train differently and have different tactics. Adam Booth is the perfect man to have in your corner for that and we’ve done everything that’s needed to be done – I’m going into the ring very confident.

As Ryan Burnett prepares to face Zhanat Zhakiyanov on Saturday we take a closer look at his home city of Belfast and the many fine boxers it has produced

“I know what to expect, but am also prepared to deal with anything. I’m just looking forward to wrapping that other belt around my shoulder.”

Burnett’s Kazakhstani opponent Zhakiyanov was of fewer words saying: “I’ve spent one month in Kazakhstan and two months in England, we’ve trained well and I am ready.”

Watch Ryan Burnett’s unification clash with Zhanat Zhakiyanov, along with Paul Hyland Jr against Stephen Ormond, James Tennyson versus Darren Traynor, with Josh Kelly and Anthony Fowler also on the Belfast bill from 7.30pm this Saturday on Sky Sports Action.