Joshua vs Parker: Ryan Burnett defends WBA belt with a unanimous points win in Cardiff
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 01/04/18 12:32am
Ryan Burnett retained his WBA 'super' bantamweight title after a dominant points victory over Yonfrez Parejo in Cardiff.
The Belfast man controlled the fight from the opening bell with his flashy skills, despite suffering a hand injury, and sealed a unanimous points win over Parejo with two scores of 120-108 and one strange tally of 116-112 at the Principality Stadium.
Sporting a sparkling gold outfit, Burnett was eager to dazzle on a big stage, and probed his Venezuelan opponent's defences with range-finding jabs in the first round.
Burnett raised the tempo in the second, catching Parejo with a short right hand, before unloading a jolting uppercut from close range.
Another right hand from Burnett seemed to briefly wobble Parejo in the third, while the Northern Irishman delivered more spiteful shots as he planted his feet in the fourth.
There was much-needed aggression from Parejo in the fifth, although his thudding body shots only prompted a gesture of defiance from Burnett, who waved him in.
Burnett rocked back Parejo's head with an uppercut in the sixth, but would endure a worrying seventh as he sustained a small cut and then announced to his corner that he had broken his right hand.
Trainer Adam Booth urged caution from the 25-year-old champion, who used his injured right more sparingly in the eighth, but Burnett still managed to fire out eye-catching flurries in the ninth.
Over the closing three rounds, Burnett continued to keep Parejo at arm's length with his razor-sharp reflexes, and calmly completed a points verdict.