Sports activities Replace: 'Gutted' Ryan Burnett reveals extent of agonising

The injury is not career-threatening but will require intensive treatment and rehabilitation, says the Belfast man.

FORMER WBA WORLD bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett has elaborated on the extent of the injury he suffered during an unfortunate defeat to ‘Filipino Flash’ Nonito Donaire in their World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) quarter-final last Saturday.

Belfast’s Burnett was boxing well at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Arena and was up on all three judges’ scorecards through three rounds, but crumbled to the canvas halfway through the fourth after throwing a straight right hand, holding his right hip/lower back area while evidently in agony.

Burnett was given a count by referee Howard and beat it, but was rendered almost defenseless such was his immobility as he retreated to the ropes, where he gamely ducked, weaved and blocked his way through an onslaught from the heavy-handed four-weight world champion Donaire, who smelled blood.

Boxing - SSE Hydro
Ryan Burnett hobbles back to his corner after suffering injury in the fourth round

Source: PA Wire/PA Images

The Irishman survived the fourth round but was duly pulled out on his stool by trainer Adam Booth, where he was comforted by the earnest victor Donaire — often described as one of boxing’s good guys.

Tournament top seed Burnett subsequently left the ring on a stretcher while receiving oxygen, his WBA belt heading across the Atlantic with the California-based Donaire, who also booked his place in the WBSS semis by way of an upset win.

Six days removed from suffering his first career defeat, Burnett detailed the nature of his injury in an Instagram post, also thanking his well-wishers as well as Donaire, who spoke kindly of the 26-year-old after their fight.

“Firstly, THANK YOU to everyone for your support and kind messages,” wrote Burnett.

“I want to thank Nonito Donaire for sharing the ring with me, and for being a man of such great character, and I wish him all the best for the remainder of the WBSS.

“I am absolutely gutted not to be world champion. This scenario was totally out of my control, but I understand, injury is the difficult part of sporting life.

Boxing - SSE Hydro
Burnett is tended to by paramedics in Glasgow

Source: PA Wire/PA Images

“This is not a career-ending injury”, Burnett added, “but is one that will require intensive treatment and rehabilitation.

“I will pick myself up, make myself strong again, and get back to where I believe I belong, as champion of the world.”

The damaged area in question is an internal abdominal muscle whose fibres run from the lower back and upper hip towards the 10th, 11th and 12th ribs.

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WBSS chief Kalle Sauerland has expressed a willingness to draft Burnett in as a reserve for the tournament’s semi-finals, but it’s unlikely that the former Youth Olympic gold medalist will be fit on time to have a full training camp ahead of said fights, which are due to take place in the spring.

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