Injury ends Ryan Burnett World title ambitions in Glasgow

Ryan Burnett injuries his back against Nonito Donaire during their WBA World Championship bout at The SSE Hydro on Saturday night
Ryan Burnett injuries his back against Nonito Donaire during their WBA World Championship bout at The SSE Hydro on Saturday night

Ryan Burnett lost his World Boxing Super Series bantamweight quarter-final against Filipino-American Nonito Donaire after failing to come out of his corner for the fifth round.

The 26-year-old from Belfast fighter took a count of seven in the fourth round at the SSE Hydro, Glasgow after appearing to sustain a hip injury while in action against his 35-year-old opponent, a former world champion at four weights.

Burnett looked in distress as he returned to his corner at the end of the round and then retired for his first defeat in 20 bouts, leaving the talented veteran, who had shown his pedigree in the early stages, to be named WBA ‘Unified’ World Champion.

Donaire will take on WBO champion Zolani Tete in the semi-finals in early 2019.

And Donaire said after the fight that this was not the way he wanted the fight to end.

“To go that way wasn’t (the way) that I would like to win,” said Burnett. “I’ve got to give it to Burnett. He is an amazing fighter.

“As a warrior and as a fighter, you’ve got a guy like Ryan. Early on, he just kept coming.

“Early on he just kept coming at me. A win is a win and it wasn’t the way I would like to win but he’s an amazing fighter.

“At the beginning of the fight I was putting so much power into my shots because I am used to fighting the bigger guy.

“And then early on I wanted to put the power down and I felt good. But the my coach told me to use my jab and my speed and I felt good doing that. I felt really good at the weight but I felt rusty but then I started to use my speed. I will now start to look at Tete and start to get in the best shape for the semi-final. I came in here with a plan and I think it would have worked out for me.”

Burnett will return to Belfast before to further medical assessment in order to establish the extent of the injury.

WBSS promoter Kalle Sauerland said that Burnett had slipped a disc in his back at a press conference.