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20 NOVEMBER 2018

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Ryan Burnett Retains WBA Crown Against Yonfrez Parejo

Ryan Burnett successfully defended his WBA Bantamweight Championship by beating Yonfrez Parejo via unanimous decision.


Burnett’s reflexes, combination punching and precision jab were just some of the key elements to this victory as he looks to establish himself as the main man in the Bantamweight division.


The defending champion worked off his jab in round one, gauging what his opponent had to offer, and then began to follow in with solid rights from the second onward. Parejo was able to time his own right hand in round two, walking Burnett onto one at short distance, but nothing of note made a dent in the Belfast fighter.


Burnett stepped on the gas in round three and landed combination punches to head and body, finishing an attack downstairs with a clubbing right to the head that briefly had the Venezuelan challenger stumbling back. Parejo was struggling with the distance, feeding off scraps if truth be told, and when Burnett did come within range he spoilt his own work with tying up and wrestling.


Parejo had his best round in the fifth and was able to push Burnett back a few times with body shots and reaching punches to the head but still nothing that was having a detrimental effect on the former unified champion. Burnett was back in control in the blink of an eye, using his sublime reflexes to move out of range and then dart back in with eye catching flurries that often left Parejo punching shadows.


A left uppercut snapped the head of Parejo back in round six and already the challenger was facing a mountain to climb if he was the upset the applecart, arguably having lost every round up to the halfway point. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, however, but Parejo just wasn’t on the same kind of level of the Irishman.


Burnett was cut in round seven, not for the first time in his career, but he was not troubled by the injury as he continued to boss proceedings. Parejo’s efforts cannot be faulted but he was outgunned and outmanoeuvred by an opponent who was just too good for him in all departments.


Burnett perhaps should have upped the pace, perhaps a little guilty of admiring his own work at times, but he boxed sensibly, especially with a cut, and picks up a deserved victory. He may not gain many admirers from this performance tonight but he nullified an experienced and talented foe on route to a shutout victory, which deserves merit on its own.


There are rumours that perhaps Burnett will be joining a Bantamweight World Boxing Super Series later this year and if that is true then he will be tested to the hilt by the best that the division has to offer. Those are the kind of fights he needs now, the likes of Zolani Tete and Jamie McDonnell will certainly require the best that Burnett has to offer.


Scorecards read: 120-108 and a baffling 116-112

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