BOXING: Ryan Burnett has to deliver says Eddie Hearn

Eddie Hearn
Eddie Hearn

Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn knows he is taking a massive gamble by throwing Ryan Burnett into Saturday night’s IBF World title fight against champion Lee Haskins at the SSE Arena in Belfast.

Hearn has faith in his young charge to get the job done against the vastly experienced Haskins - but the facts don’t lie.

Haskins has had 37 professional fights - with only three defeats - and this will be the third defence of his World title.

Burnett on the other hand has only had 16 fights as a pro - which makes him a mere novice compared to Haskins.

Even the bookmakers are having trouble deciding who is favourite for the fight - but Hearn says the time is right to see if the hype surrounding Burnett is true or false.

“This is a 50/50 fight . The truth is no-one really knows what is going to happen.

“Maybe Lee Haskins is too good and too experienced and maybe Ryan Burnett is not the real thing?

“We have been watching Ryan and waiting for it, waiting for it and he has to show it.

“And now he has to show it under the most pressure he has ever faced.

“My worry is that when you ask him about it - he is thinking and thinking about it and nearly breaks down.

“So when he walks out he is going to have to hold it together against a very tricky fighter.

“He is going to have to think, execute a game plan and there is so much pressure on him.

“Everyone says he is the next Carl Frampton and if he wins they will say ‘he is going to do this and do this’. Ryan has to focus on the job at hand.”

And Hearn admits this is D-Day for Burnett.

“If you are good enough, you will deal with it and if you are not - you won’t.

“If he is as good as we think he is then he will be World champion on Saturday night and if he’s not - he won’t. Haskins looks great and he is up for this.”