Belfast native retains title
Ryan Burnett retained his WBA Bantamweight title after a dominating unanimous decision victory over Yonfrez Parejo earlier on the undercard of Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker’s heavyweight unification bout. Burnett controlled the fight from the onset despite suffering a hand injury. He picked up the win over Parejo with two scores of 120-108 and 116-112.
Burnett came out in the first round and was able to establish distance with range-finding jabs throughout the first round. He started to pick up the pace in round two, catching Parejo with a short right hand, before unloading an uppercut while in close.
A solid right hand in the third round from Burnett seemed to wobble Parejo for just a second. The Belfast native was able to land some solid shots in the fourth. In the fifth stanza, Parejo landed some thudding type shots to the body but Burnett seemed unfazed.
In round six, Burnett rocked Parejo’s head back with an uppercut. During the seventh, Burnett sustained a small cut and then told his corner between rounds that he had broken his right hand. Adam Booth, Burnett’s trainer, cautioned the champion to use his right sparingly in the eighth.
In round nine it appeared at times as if the hand was magically healed as Burnett managed to fire off eye-catching flurries. Over the closing three rounds, Burnett continued to keep Parejo at arm’s length with sharp reflexes, and calmly cruised to the unanimous decision.
Burnett improved to 19-0 with 9KO’s, while Parejo fell to 21-3-1. Burnett was rumored to be a participant in the World Boxing Super Series tournament, as they’re expected to announce the 118lb division to be next soon. With the hand injury it’s unclear if he will be available.
By: Chris Henderson