A bumper pay day for Ryan
Champ Burnett named in Super Series tournament
As expected, Ryan Burnett has been confirmed as one of the eight bantamweights who will compete in the second series of the lucrative World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament.
Burnett is one of three reigning World champions who were confirmed yesterday as participants by the event organisers, Comosa AG.
The other world belt holders who will join Burnett are WBO champion Zolani Tete - who was repeatedly called out by Burnett - and the newly-crowned IBF belt holder Emmanuel Rodriguez.
Naoya Inoue of Japan will also be involved should he first defeat Jamie McDonnell - who could also yet participate - when they fight on May 25, but for the 25-year-old Burnett, the WBSS represents both the most lucrative and challenging opportunity of his promising career.
"After a fantastic first season with super middleweight and cruiserweight, we have decided that bigger is better," said Comosa AG CEO Kalle Sauerland of the tournament.
The competition's draw will take place in July, and it is understood Burnett's first fight is likely to be in his home city of Belfast in September.
Burnett, the current undefeated WBA 'super' champion, wasn't present at yesterday's announcement but it was confirmed during the press conference that the deal had been sealed with the Belfast boxer.
Five more boxers will be added later to the roster for the bantamweight division with the tournament likely to start in September.
Last year the tournament had a reported purse of $50m and although the prize fund may be reduced for the second season, it still represents the biggest pay day in Burnett's career so far.
"I have always wanted to be a world champion and to unify the titles against the best opposition out there," said Burnett.
"Now the World Boxing Super series allows me to continue my dream against the other champions in the bantamweight division."
The involvement of Matchroom's Burnett alongside Tete, who is promoted by Frank Warren, means the two are in contention to fight despite their promoters' bitter rivalry, which previously would have made them highly unlikely to meet.