Trainer & Pundit
Burnett vs Zhakiyanov: Ryan Burnett showed he can become a great champion, says David Coldwell
Last Updated: 23/10/17 3:12pm
Ryan Burnett took a ‘massive step’ towards becoming a great champion after winning his world title unification clash with Zhanat Zhakiyanov, says David Coldwell.
Burnett had suggested beforehand that he wanted to become a 'great' champion and Sky Sports expert Coldwell believes the unbeaten 25-year-old showed his grit in a gruelling battle with Zhakiyanov.
"Do you know what, he's taken a massive step towards that," Coldwell told Sky Sports.
"When you win a world title, nine times out of 10, fighters want a nice, easy defence in front of their home crowd. He's gone straight in against the division's toughest man. We all know how tough Zhanat is, and he's met him head on.
"'ZZ' is very, very tough. He's such a tough man, but we've got to give Ryan Burnett credit, because he showed how tough he is. He stood there and he battled with him.
"He started putting a few rounds together. 'ZZ' came back in and then down the stretch, I just think that Ryan's work-rate, his youth, his enthusiasm, his grit, and his toughness took over."
Promoter Eddie Hearn hopes Burnett can target the remaining champions and Coldwell sees no reason why Burnett should not continue his rapid rise, with two belts already in his grasp after just 18 fights.
"He wants more unification [fights]," said Coldwell "He wants the big fights, he wants the big nights, bigger nights like this.
"All the massive fights that are out there."