Boxing

Kalle Sauerland: Ryan Burnett likely to fight Zolani Tete in Belfast - if he beats Nonito Donaire

Kalle Sauerland (centre) of the World Boxing Super Series says Ryan Burnett would most likely face Zolani Tete in Belfast next year, should he defeat Nonito Donaire on Saturday night
From Neil Loughran in Glasgow

A RETURN to Belfast for a mouth-watering showdown with South African Zolani Tete is the prize on offer for Ryan Burnett – provided he overcomes Nonito Donaire in Glasgow on Saturday night.

The WBA world champion faces the Filipino veteran at the SSE Hydro in the quarter-final of Sauerland’s World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), a tournament that pits the best against the best in the bantamweight division.

Japan’s Naoya Inoue - the second seed behind Burnett - has already taken the competition by storm, blasting out former world champion Juan Payano in just 70 seconds last month.

‘The Monster’ will now face Puerto Rican puncher Emmanuel Rodriguez in one semi-final while Tete, who swept to a points victory over Mikhail Aloyen three weeks ago, lies in wait for the winner of Burnett v Donaire.

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And, should Burnett’s undefeated record remain intact this weekend, he looks set for a return to Belfast in the first half of next year to take on the WBO belt holder.

“You’re odds on, though he has to get past Donaire first,” said Sauerland.

“It’s not a chance… it’s an extremely strong chance that if Burnett wins you’ll see him in the semi-final in Belfast.”

At yesterday’s press conference in Glasgow, Sauerland that while the show – which is headlined by Josh Taylor’s lightweight clash with Ryan Martin – won’t be broadcast on TV, it will be streamed live, and free, on the WBSS website, as well as their YouTube and Facebook sites.

And he is confident that the 118lb tournament will continue to live up to expectations.

“We call it ‘the Champions League of boxing’ for a reason; we have the best in it. It’s special,” he said.

“The guys go in and lay it all on the line. It’s not about taking a year, having a few easy fights, make some money, this is about going against the best.

“Boxing is all about risk, that’s why it’s one of the most highly paid sports and here they really earn it and we try and put them on a platform second to none – we’re the biggest lightshow in boxing.”

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