Ryan Burnett says he can follow in Carl Frampton’s footsteps and become a huge star in Belfast - as he challenges Lee Haskins for the IBF World Bantamweight title at the SSE Arena Belfast on Saturday night.
Burnett tackles his first World title fight in his first fight on home turf in nearly three years, while Haskins puts his crown on the line for the third time.
If Burnett can rip the IBF crown from Haskins he’ll become the latest World champion from Belfast, following in the footsteps of Frampton.
‘The Jackal’ also made the red belt his first World title in the Titanic Quarter back in September 2014.
Burnett hopes that tomorrow is the first step on emulating the former two-weight World champion.
“People keep saying that I am the second coming of Carl Frampton – that’s a big statement,” said Burnett.
“I do believe that I can emulate his success and be a big hit in Belfast.
“ I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from Carl and seeing a Belfast lad become a World champion.
“He’s taken the steps that I am taking now and seeing the level that he’s got to and what he’s achieved - and what he can still achieve - is massive.
“He’s done so much for boxing in Belfast, and I want to have the same impact.”
And Burnett’s trainer Adam Booth is sure his fighter will get the job done at the Belfast venue.
“This sport, like all sport, is about competition and challenges and a good fighter will rise to those challenges,” he said. “Great fighters and the ones that go on to be exceptional are the ones who rise to the challenges and adapt to anything that’s put in front of them.
“I believe that Ryan has that unique ability.
“Lee Haskins is a fighter who can adapt at title level and that’s why he has the record he has and why he has the belt,” continued Booth.
“I know Ryan has the ability to adapt at this level and he has the perfect platform and opportunity to do it on Saturday night.”