Ryan Burnett And Zhanet Zhakiyanov Set To Face Off In Bantamweight Title Unification

Fellow world bantamweight champions Ryan Burnett and Zhanat Zhakiyanov are set to make history by unifying their world titles in October.

Burnett, the IBF champion, and Zhakiyanov, the WBA champion, will meet in the the SSE Arena in Burnett's hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland. The fight will take place on October 21 and it will also be both champions' first title defense. Promoter Eddie Hearn was ecstatic in announcing the news.

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"I'm so proud firstly to be part of history in bringing this huge unification to Belfast but also of Ryan Burnett for taking on this huge challenge," Hearn said. "Following his great win against (Lee) Haskins for the title, it would have been so easy to come back to Belfast with a standard defence but Ryan wants to be great and make history and this fight against Zhakiyanov can do just that. It's a brilliant fight and it's going to be a special night on Oct 21."

Burnett won the IBF title earlier this year by beating former champion Lee Haskins in a very lopsided unanimous decision victory back on June 10. 

As for Zhakiyanov, he won his title when he beat Rau'shee Warren via split decision, despite being knocked down twice in the first round of the fight. Zhakiyanov was the interim WBA champion at the time and when he defeated Warren, he also became the IBO bantamweight champion, but that title is not on the line.  

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