The boxing public wants to see the best fights involving bantamweight champions Ryan Burnett facing Zolani Tete, and WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KOs) defending against former IBF belt holder Daniel Jacobs (32-2, 29 KOs). Why can’t the fans see those fights?
IBF/WBA 118 lb. champion Ryan Burnett (18-0, 9 KOs) now holds half of the bantamweight titles after his 12 round decision win last October over IBF belt holder Zhanat Zhakiyanov in Belfast. The fans want to see the 25-year-old Burnett really tested by him facing WBO champion Zolani Tete (26-3, 21 KOs) in a unification fight that really matters.
Burnett’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport was more than willing to match him up against the aging 34-year-old Zhakiyanov, but when it came to putting him in with Tete, he made excuses about the fight not being a big enough money fight to be made. Hearn made the unification fight between Burnett and Zhakiyanov, but he won’t make the Burnett-Tete fight. It’s a shame for the boxing fans can’t see that fight.
Hearn isn’t saying when he’ll make the Burnett vs. Tete fight. Burnett being only 3 years younger than the 29-year-old Tete, Hearn can’t wait until he’s older and over the hill before he makes the fight. Tete looks like he’s going to be fighting at a high level for a long time.
These are 2 fights were we could see either guy win. These aren’t guaranteed wins. Saunders beat David Lemieux last weekend in defending his WBO middleweight title successfully n Laval, Quebec, Canada, but he wasn’t facing a guy considered a top 3 talent in the 160 lb. division. Lemieux was seen as a good puncher, but not someone that deserves to be rated in the top 3. Jacobs wants Saunders to come over to the U.S to fight him in New York, but he’s been ignored by him. Saunders isn’t even dignifying the callout with a reply.
Saunders wants a big payday against the winner of the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin 2 fight, but he’s not showing much willingness to earn the fight by getting a big win over Jacobs.