Ryan Burnett: IBF confirms judge blunder in Belfast fighter's world title win

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'I nearly fainted when they said split decision' - champion Burnett

The International Boxing Federation has admitted Ryan Burnett's world title win should have been a unanimous victory as opposed to a split decision.

Belfast man Burnett dominated Saturday's bout as he outclassed English champion Lee Haskins.

However, American judge Clark Sammartino mixed up the fighters as he ruled Haskins the winner.

"An error of this nature and at this level of the sport should not have occurred," said an IBF statement.

"Judge Clark Sammartino has been a member of the IBF for many years and has been a solid, reliable and consistent judge.

"He has an active officiating career and has worked at the world-class level.

"The IBF remains committed to recommending qualified and reliable officials to work its sanctioned bouts, and is fully intent on deterring a situation such as this one from occurring again in the future."

Burnett thought cuts would end fight

Meanwhile, Burnett has revealed that he feared the world title bout was going to be halted after both men suffered early cuts.

The boxers sustained deep cuts above their right eyes after an accidental clash of heads in the second round the Belfast bout.

Trainer Adam Booth immediately told Belfast man Burnett he had only two rounds to fulfil his world title dream.

"Me and Adam have gone over this situation before. I knew exactly how to deal with it," said Burnett, 25.

After hearing Booth's words, Burnett maintained the exceptional performance he had produced from the opening bell as he outclassed the defending champion.

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'Judge made a mistake - Burnett's win was unanimous' - Eddie Hearn

"I told Ryan after the (cuts in the) second round 'This fight's not going 12 rounds, you're both cut too badly, win every moment of the next two rounds because it's going to go to a technical decision'," said Booth.

Brilliant corner work by Booth and his team prevented Burnett's cut above his right eye from worsening so referee Marcus McDonnell allowed the fight to continue to the end.

However, the severity of Burnett's cut means he is unlikely to have the first defence of his title for several months.

Burnett has earned that rest after being away from his Belfast home from 10 weeks to prepare for the world title bout.

"I haven't been home in two-and-a-half months. I just want to go home to my family."

Ryan Burnett celebrates with the Matchroom team after his world title triumph
Burnett's world title win was another success for Eddie Hearn's Matchroom team

Booth lauds 'special Burnett achievement'

Booth's training career has included guiding David Haye to world cruiserweight and heavyweight titles but he believes Burnett's world title triumph in only his 17th professional bout has surpassed even though achievements.

"He was magnificent, because Lee Haskins is not easy to out-trick and out-box, and that's exactly what he did for 12 rounds," said the trainer, who also led Ireland's Andy Lee to the WBO middleweight title.

"I haven't had a world champion after only 17 pro fights who's performed like that.

"Everything with David Haye, at cruiserweight, heavyweight, and Andy Lee at middleweight, it's all special, but there's something about what Ryan has achieved.

"I'm pretty sure I'll never see that again with a fighter after only 16 pro fights."

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