Sunday 22 July 2018

Ryan Burnett to defend WBA belt after vacating IBF title

Ryan Burnett celebrates after winning his IBF & WBA Super World Bantamweight Championship bout with Zhanat Zhakiyanov at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Ryan Burnett celebrates after winning his IBF & WBA Super World Bantamweight Championship bout with Zhanat Zhakiyanov at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ryan Burnett will defend his WBA bantamweight title against mandatory challenger Yonfrez Parejo on the undercard of the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker world heavyweight title fight at Cardiff on March 31.

Burnett unified the IBF and WBA belts in his hometown of Belfast by outpointing Zhanat Zhakiyanov in October last year but has vacated the former strap after both governing bodies' mandatories were called.

The undefeated 25-year-old said: "I don't really get involved in the politics but we knew that when we face Zhakiyanov that it was likely we may have to vacate one of the belts because of mandatories, but I've unified the division and now we move on to new challenges."

Parejo holds a professional record of 21 wins, two defeats and one draw, while the Venezuelan has won his last four fights since dropping a split decision to Zhakiyanov in Monaco in November 2015, his only previous bout in Europe.

Burnett added: "I'm delighted to be added to this show, it's going to be an incredible experience to defend my world title in front of 80,000 in Cardiff.

"I expect a tough fight against Parejo, our styles should gel for a great fight and I'm looking forward to making another statement on March 31."

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport