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Published: 10:16 | 22/10/17

Burnett claims double world title

Ryan Burnett has become a double world champion after a unanimous points decision against Kazakhstan's Zhanat Zhakiyanov in Belfast on Saturday.

The Belfast fighter has now added the WBA title to the IBF title he picked up against Lee Haskins in June in the first unification fight held in Northern Ireland.

The 25-year-old was awarded the fight 118-110, 119-109 and 117-112 by the three judges at the SSE Arena.

While neither man was rocked through a gruelling contest, Burnett was able to keep his 35-year-old opponent at arms length with accurate jabs and also produced the cleaner punches.

Burnett has now won all of his 18 professional fights and inflicted on Zhakiyanov only his second defeat in a 29-bout career.

A jubilant Burnett told Sky Sports: "It was tought and I had to dig deep, but I did it. I am now double world champion."

Promoter Barry Hearn says that Burnett will not rest with the two belts and wants the other bantamweight titles, too.

He said: "He has built a fortress here in Belfast. We want to come back here in February or March and try to pick up the other belts in the division."

Burnett was taken to hospital as a precaution after complaining of headaches when he returned to his dressing room but was later released.

On the undercard, Dublin's Stephen Ormond lost a controversial split decision to local boy Paul Hyland Jr.

Ormond appeared to have the greater work-rate and land better punches in the lightweight bout, but Hyland edged it 117-110 and 114-113 with one judge giving it to Ormond 115-112.

Photo: Inpho/ William Cherry

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