RICKY HATTON is confident his charges, Ryan Burnett and Zhanat Zhakiyanov, will cause quite a stir when they appear in Belfast this evening (Friday, June 28).
Former Youth Olympic gold medallist Burnett takes on Slovakia’s experienced Elemir Rafael over four rounds and Zhakiyanov, who is ranked as Europe’s number one contender by the EBU, faces Spain-based Nicaraguan Michael Escobar in a six rounder.
For very different reasons, both are looking to impress.
Burnett is making his hometown debut and wants to show the Belfast faithful his prowess as a professional, while Zhakiyanov wants to exhibit some of the skills he has picked from ‘The Hitman’ in the few weeks they have working together.
“It’s been a pleasure working with these two talents for this fight,” Hatton said.
“Some of the sparring between them both has been a joy to watch, seeing them bring each other on and seeing the improvements they’ve both made means the Belfast crowd are in for a treat.
“I really believe fans will be seeing Belfast’s next champion and Europe’s next bantamweight champion.”
Tonight’s show at the Holiday Inn is promoted in association with Jane Wilton’s Belfast Boxing Promotions and also features Luke Wilton in and International Masters title fight at super-flyweight.