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Ryan Burnett vacates IBF title, defends WBA belt against Yonfrez Parejo

Burnett defeated Zhanat Zhakiyanov for the title in October

Ryan Burnett v Zhanat Zhakiyanov - SSE Arena Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images

Ryan Burnett’s reign as a unified champion is over, as conflicts have forced him to vacate the IBF title he won from Lee Haskins last June. He will face mandatory WBA challenger Yonfrez Parejo on March 31st as part of the Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker undercard.

Eddie Hearn has more on the reason behind this decision.

“The IBF called an interim title bout between (Emmanuel) Rodriguez and Haskins, so we proceeded to make the fight with our WBA mandatory Parejo,” Hearn said. “Last week we were notified that that bout would no longer take place and that Rodriguez’s team were not willing to negotiate and they called immediate purse bids. Our deal was already in place with Parejo, so we will vacate our IBF title and continue to face our WBA mandatory.”

“Verdugo” Parejo (21-2-1, 10 KO), whose nickname may trigger extreme Resident Evil 4 nostalgia, has only lost to Hugo Ruiz and Zhanat Zhakiyanov, fighting the latter to a split decision in 2015. He’s 4-0 against middling opposition since that fight, which saw him lose the interim WBA bantamweight title he won by knocking out Luis Hinojosa.

While Burnett (18-0, 9 KO) should be fighting Zolani Tete or “regular” champ Jamie McDonnell (how’s that belt reduction working out for you, WBA?), it’s a decent fight. A damn sight better than Povetkin-Price at least.

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