Ryan Burnett: Champion vows to impress in world title defence on Joshua-Parker bill

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Ryan Burnett says he will 'relish' defending WBA bantamweight title on Joshua-Parker bill

Ryan Burnett expects a "career-best display" as he defends his WBA bantamweight title on Saturday's Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker bill.

The Belfast man says he will relish fighting Venezuela's Yonfrez Parejo in front of a huge crowd at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

"I've got a great gameplan," he said. "His style suits my style perfectly."

Burnett, 25, has won all his 18 professional bouts while Parejo, 31, has been beaten twice in 24 fights.

One of Parejo's defeats came against Kazakhstan's Zhanat Zhakiyanov in November 2015, when he lost a split decision in a WBA interim bantamweight contest.

Burnett earned a unanimous win over Zhakiyanov last October to add the WBA title to the IBF belt he clinched by beating England's Lee Haskins last June, although the Northern Irishman has since vacated the latter title.

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Parker is in for a fight - Joshua

Burnett bout chief support to Joshua v Parker

Burnett's title defence is the chief support contest to Joshua's heavyweight unification bout against New Zealand's Parker.

With a big TV audience expected for the bill, Burnett knows full well it's a night when he can showcase his talents to the boxing world and beyond.

"It's a great opportunity for me to be on one before the main event," he said. "There is going to be 75,000 people in the stadium at that point."

Usually a softly-spoken man in media interviews, Burnett has no fears that he will be overawed by an occasion which should have 80,000 people in attendance at the Principality Stadium when Joshua and Parker begin to trade leather in the highly-anticipated heavyweight duel.

"I was at the Joshua v Carlos Takam fight and I experienced what it was like looking at 80,000 people," Burnett added.

"Now I am blessed to be part of this and I just can't wait for it to happen now. All my preparations have gone perfectly and everything is bang on track."

The Northern Irishman believes he will be equipped to deal with whatever Parejo throws at him.

"I thought the Zhakiyanov fight was going to be me boxing him but it turned into a war," said Burnett. "I will be ready whatever way the fight turns out."

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