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12th Feb 2018

Ryan Burnett to defend WBA title against Yonfrez Parejo on Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker undercard

Matthew Gault

Ryan Burnett

Big night for the Belfast man.

Ryan Burnett will defend his WBA super bantamweight belt against Yonfrez Parejo on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s highly-anticipated unification bout against Joseph Parker.

Burnett, who added the WBA belt to his IBF title with a points victory over Zhanat Zhakiyanov in October, will fight in front of an expected crowd of 80,000 at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on March 31.

“I’m delighted to be added to this show. It’s going to be an incredible experience to defend my world title in front of 80,000 in Cardiff,” said 25-year-old Burnett, who is 18-0 in professional boxing. 

“I don’t really get involved in the politics, but we knew that when we face Zhakiyanov that it was likely we may have to vacate one of the belts because of mandatory challengers. I’ve unified the division and now we move on to new challenges.

“I expect a tough fight against Parejo. Our styles should gel for a great fight and I’m looking forward to making another statement on March 31.”

Burnett’s promoter Eddie Hearn said: “The IBF called an interim title bout between Rodriguez and Haskins so we proceeded to make the fight with our WBA mandatory Parejo. 

“Last week we were notified that that bout would no longer take place and that Rodriguez team were not willing to negotiate and they called immediate purse bids.

“Our deal was already in place with Parejo so we will vacate our IBF title and continue to face our WBA mandatory.”

The main event will see Joshua defend his WBA ‘super’ and IBF belts against WBO title-holder Parker in a mouthwatering showdown between two undefeated heavyweight champions.