Boxing Preview: Warrington v Ceylan; Burnett v Zhakiyanov

Leeds favourite Josh Warrington (25-0) should finally get his shot at a featherweight world title, if he can beat Dennis Ceylan (18-0-2) in his hometown this Saturday night.

Warrington has been campaigning for a world title shot for some time now and he will not want this golden opportunity to pass him by.

The unbeaten Dane is all that stands in his way to get a crack at Lee Selby’s IBF featherweight world crown.

The London 2012 Olympian from Aarhus has fought two English fighters on the bounce, drawing with Isaac Lowe in March 2017 on a technical decision following a fourth-round head clash that left Ceylan unable to continue, and beating Ryan Walsh on a split decision to win the European bantamweight title.

The WBC International featherweight champion gets the home advantage over the Dane and will give it his all in this eliminator as it means so much to him to finally get in this position.

With only 13 knockouts in 43 fights between the two featherweights, I expect this one to go the distance, but with the Yorkshireman’s hand being raised at the end.

Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov

New IBF champion Ryan Burnett (17-0) is already looking to add another world title to his collection as he prepares to take on WBA Super champion Zhanat Zhakiyanov (27-1) in Belfast on October 21.

The Northern Irishman makes the first defence of his new belt against Zhakiyanov in a bantamweight unification clash at The SSE Arena in his home city.

The 25-year-old Belfast boxer ripped the IBF belt away from long-term champion Lee Haskins in just his 17th fight.

Ahead of that clash, critics were questioning the premature move up to world level but Burnett proved them wrong with a blistering performance, flooring the titlist twice on his way to victory.

But the Ulsterman must find a way to overcome the formidable Zhakiyanov, who dragged Rau’shee Warren into a punishing dogfight before taking the WBA belt on a split-decision victory.

In the Kazakh’s corner is Ryan’s former mentor Ricky Hatton, who has said that his ex-student is going to be in for a hard night. The former two-weight world champion believes that his Asian charge will triumph over Burnett through desire and heart.

Hatton’s game plan will be to stand in close and pressure Burnett for the full 12-rounds. With Burnett’s superior ability, he will likely get the better of the exchanges and I can see the man that was floored twice by Warren in their WBA bout kissing the canvas again in this unification clash.

Burnett is on fire right now and shows a maturity and skill level way beyond his years, so I don’t believe that Zhakiyanov can match him in any department.

I believe that Burnett will become only bantamweight in the division to hold two titles with a unanimous points decision victory.

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