Former WBA/IBF bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett has announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 27, citing ongoing difficulties with injuries.
“Although my retirement is forced through injuries, I carry a heart full of satisfaction and gratitude,” Burnett said. “I have achieved my childhood dream and secured my future health, which is something no amount of money or titles can provide. I would like to thank everyone at MTK, Top Rank, Sky Sports and Matchroom for providing me the opportunity to fulfill my potential as a fighter.”
Burnett claimed his first world title back in 2017, lifting the IBF belt from Lee Haskins, and unified with WBA “super” champ Zhanat Zhakiyanov four months later. He wound up losing his original belt due to mandatory scheduling conflicts, but defended the WBA belt wit ha decision over Yonfrez Parejo.
His efforts were enough to earn him the #1 seed in the World Boxing Super Series’ bantamweight tournament, where he selected Nonito Donaire as his quarterfinal opponent. In a bizarre turn of events, Burnett badly injured his lower back on a missed punch, resulting in a fourth-round TKO loss and a six-month layoff before he returned in May with a TKO of Jelbirt Gomera.
He ends his six-year career 20-1 with 10 knockouts.
It’s heartbreaking to see a young fighter in his prime robbed of further opportunities due to circumstances outside of his control, especially considering how exciting the division is at the moment. Still, Burnett seems to be in good spirits about the whole thing, so we’ll merely wish him the best in his future endeavors.