Freak injury results in first career defeat for Belfast's Ryan Burnett
Ryan Burnett left the ring screaming in agony after suffering the first defeat of his professional career.
What appeared to be a serious back injury midway through the fourth round of his World Boxing Super Series bantamweight quarter-final cost Belfast's Burnett his WBA title against Nonito Donaire on Saturday night.
Burnett clutched his back after overextending on a right hand and immediately took a knee.
Somehow, the 26-year-old managed to see the round out but once the adrenaline wore off, the pain became too much for Burnett in his corner and he failed to make it off his stool for the fifth.
Medics quickly tended to Burnett, who required oxygen and was taken out of the ring on a stretcher in some discomfort.
— BOXING CORNER 2️⃣4️⃣/7️⃣ (@boxingcorner247) November 3, 2018
Burnett had impressed early on in what was a fiercely competitive bout at Glasgow's SSE Hydro Arena and the extent of his injury remains to be seen.
Donaire sent his opponent a classy message after the bout, wishing Burnett a speedy recovery.
First off, I want to acknowledge and thank God and my Archangels for everything they put before me tonight. 🙏 Next I would like to send prayers of healing to Ryan Burnett and thank him for sharing the ring with me. I know he'll heal up and be back in the ring soon! pic.twitter.com/cJoOulLnVW
— Nonito Donaire (@filipinoflash) November 3, 2018
It was not the way that Donaire would have wanted to win and ever the sportsman, he made a point of checking on Burnett immediately after the referee waved the bout off.
The four-weight world champion will now face WBO champion Zolani Tete in the tournament's semi-finals next year.