By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
RYAN BURNETT became Ireland’s second ever unified world champion and could now face Paul Butler early next year.
The Belfast boxer, who is trained by London-based Adam Booth, added the WBA bantamweight crown to his IBF belt with a hard-fought points win over Kazakh Zhanat Zhakiyanov.
Unbeaten Burnett joins fellow Belfast man and former IBF and WBA super-bantamweight title holder Carl Frampton as the only other fighter from Ireland to win two belts in one division.
And his promoter Eddie Hearn is looking to add more titles with the vacant WBC title and WBO champion Zolani Tete in his thoughts as well as the winner of Jamie McDonnell and Liborio Solis.
"We want to come back here in February or March and try and pick up the other belts in the division,” said Hearn.
“You've got some great champs in the division, Jamie McDonnell is fighting Liborio Solis in Monaco in a few weeks, you've got Paul Butler watching this at home and also Zolani Tete who is a great champion.
“The WBC is also vacant at the minute and Ryan wants to pick them all up. For now though, he deserves a lot of credit.”
But Starsport understands the most realistic option at this moment is a clash with Ellesmere Port puncher Butler, who won a WBA eliminator against Stuart Hall last month.
Leeds featherweight Josh Warrington set up a future shot against IBF champion Lee Selby with a stoppage win over Dennis Ceylan on Saturday night in Yorkshire.
Warrington was dominant throughout but may have to wait until March to get his shot at Wales star Selby, who tweeted “easy work” after his rival’s performance.