Two former World champions - Carl Frampton and Andy Lee - believe Ryan Burnett will get the job done when he takes to the ring at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Saturday night.
Burnett will face Zhanat Zhakiyanov for the IBF and WBA Bantamweight World titles and many have predicted that this will be the toughest fight of Burnett’s career to date after he saw off Lee Haskins for the IBF belt in June.
Zhakiyanov - who is trained by former World champion Ricky Hatton - is a rugged and tough come forward fighter who is strong at the weight and both took park in a public workout in Belfast yesterday before their showdown at the weekend.
And two-weight World champion Frampton - who has done some sparring with Zhakiyanov and Burnett - still fancies his fellow Belfast fighter. But he admits it will not be a walk in the park.
“This is a fight that you are going to learn a lot more about Ryan Burnett,” he said. “It’s a very tough ask for him in his first defence but I think he’s going to prove to people that are backing him right that he has a very big heart.
“I know Ryan pretty well and we used to train together as kids - I rate him highly.
“He’s a very good fighter and he has a good team around him with Adam Booth and Eddie Hearn. It’s great that Eddie is starting to bring him back to Belfast.
“It’s going to be a very difficult night. I still fancy Burnett though. I think it’s going to be a fight of two halves, but I think he takes it on points, a tight points decision as well,” he told www.skysports.com.
And former WBO Middleweight king Lee believes Burnett holds the upper hand.
“Becoming champion has added to Burnett’s game and this could be the biggest fight we have had on these shores,” he said. “ZZ will come forward and I think Burnett will have to box smart and if he does he could make it an easy night.
“Ryan is a great boxer and I think he will come through. I think he will do something special.”