Ryan Burnett could stop Nonito Donaire in Glasgow says Andy Lee

Andy Lee believes Ryan Burnett is strong enough to handle whatever Nonito Donaire throws at him in Glasgow tonight. Picture by Jennifer Charlton
From Neil Loughran in Glasgow

DON’T be surprised if Ryan Burnett stops Nonito Donaire in Glasgow tonight, says the Belfast fighter’s former stablemate Andy Lee.

Burnett hasn’t halted an opponent since 2015, nine fights ago, but ex-middleweight world champion Lee believes that the 26-year-old could capitalise on Nonito Donaire dropping down two weights divisions to make the 188lb limit.

“Don’t be surprised if Ryan gets the stoppage,” said Lee, who trained alongside Burnett at Adam Booth’s London base.

“I know Donaire’s a great champion, but the weight is a big factor. Coming down will take a lot out of him, then also age.

“You know, Ryan is seriously strong. When we used to do strength sessions, where you do three reps and it’s nearly at 90 per cent of your max, Ryan would do the same weights as me and I was a middleweight.

“That’s how strong he is, and you could see that in the [Zhanat] Zhakiyanov fight. He was tough but Ryan stood there and in the end outmuscled him.”

That said, Lee believes the ‘Filipino Flash’ showed he still has plenty left even in defeat to Carl Frampton back in April.

“If Ryan’s not on his game it’ll be a dangerous fight for him,” he added.

“It’s a big ask to get back to bantamweight, but he’ll want to fight to prove himself. He’s definitely not as quick as he used to be but he still has some power, that never goes, and he had that fighting spirit, that champion’s fighting spirit and ego. That mentality.

“That kept him in the fight with Frampton, and he’ll always have that. It was a competitive fight, it wasn’t like he got knocked out or accepts he’s going to lose, he comes with that spirit of wanting to fight. You can see the way he carries himself he’s a proud person.

“I think Ryan should just box. Ryan can do both things but if he just uses his advantages, his speed and his athleticism, then he should win comfortably enough.”

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