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Ryan Burnett claimed the IBF bantamweight title at the end of an eventful evening in Belfast

Ryan Burnett claimed the IBF bantamweight title at the end of an eventful evening in Belfast

Ryan Burnett was crowned as the IBF champion at the end of an eventful evening in Belfast which created plenty of talking points...

Belfast star is born

The 25-year-old easily handled the step up to world class, flooring Lee Haskins twice on the way to a points victory, despite a bizarre verdict from one of the judges which forced Burnett to settle for a split decision win.

He kept his composure superbly in a red-hot atmosphere, shrugging off a nasty head clash in the second round, and easily picked apart the more experienced Haskins with his accurate right hands.

 
The Belfast man coped with pressure of fighting in front of hometown fans
The Belfast man coped with pressure of fighting in front of hometown fans

There will be more memorable nights to come for Burnett, who has given his hometown a new world champion to support.

Sky Sports expert Andy Lee believes Burnett is fully capable of unifying the titles in the bantamweight division.

"Belfast has a new star and this guy could go on and unify the division," said Lee. "It's only his 17th fight, this is a huge accomplishment. He's done it so early in his career - the future is very bright."

Former world champion Andy Lee believes Burnett can unify the division
 
Former world champion Andy Lee believes Burnett can unify the division

Shocking scorecard

Boos and bemused expressions greeted the scorecard of judge Clark Sammartino, who somehow managed to hand in a 118-108 total in favour of Haskins.

Burnett had floored the Bristol man twice, dominating the fight from the first bell, and it was hard to explain how the American official had awarded the fight to Haskins by such a wide margin.

Speaking afterwards, promoter Eddie Hearn suggested that the judge had filled in the wrong section of scorecard.

Robert Smith, General Secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, branded it a 'wrong' scorecard, and claimed that Mr Sammartino would not be returning to these shores.

Perez makes swift return

Mike Perez needed just 29 seconds to announce his arrival in the cruiserweight division with a first round knockout win.

Mike Perez stopped Viktor Biscak in 30 seconds on his comeback at cruiserweight
 
Mike Perez stopped Viktor Biscak in 30 seconds on his comeback at cruiserweight

In truth, Viktor Biscak put up little resistance as he crumpled to the canvas after receiving a looping right hand from Perez.

The Slovakian quickly surrendered his unbeaten record, complaining of an apparent ankle injury, but Perez was at least back with a win after a two-year absence from the ring.

The Cuban is confident he can still become a world champion
 
The Cuban is confident he can still become a world champion

Hearn revealed afterwards that Perez could be fighting again within a few weeks and the Cuban is a welcome addition to the weight class.

Hyland too hot

Paul Hyland Jr continued his rise up the lightweight rankings with a stunning first round knockout of Adam Dingsdale.

Paul Hyland Jr halted Adam Dingsdale in the first round
 
Paul Hyland Jr halted Adam Dingsdale in the first round

The Belfast man had laboured to a points win over Peter Cope in March, but he made a searing start to the fight with Dingsdale, who was dropped twice before the fight was waved off.

Hyland Jr stretched his unbeaten record to 16 victories and could be heading towards a major title fight.

Tims is toppled

Luke 'The Duke' Watkins produced the most explosive knockout of the night as he detonated a right hand on Ian Tims in the fourth round.

Luke Watkins had too much firepower for Ian Tims
 
Luke Watkins had too much firepower for Ian Tims

Watkins secured the Irish cruiserweight title, but insisted that he had not landed the cleanest shot of his career.

"Nah, I've hit other people the same way and they all fall the same way," he said.

The Swindon man could be a fighter to watch in the future.

 

 

Additional Info

  • Origin: skysports/GhAgent