Belfast’s WBA Super world Bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett 18-0 (9 Ko’s) made a first defence of his title with a hard fought 12 round unanimous decision over tough Venezuelan, Yonfrez Parejo 31-2-1 (10 Ko’s).. Burnett was reluctantly forced to relinquish the IBF belt he took from Lee Haskins a year ago due to a failed mandatory obligation, but looked completely unfazed, focussing fully on the task in hand. Both fighters fenced for openings early, with neither man committing in a battle that looked destined to be a tight knit affair.
The chess match edged the champions way in the fourth, with Burnett landing the cleaner more eye catching shots on the more predictable Parejo. The Venezuelan responded successfully with decent counters in the 5th but found himself returning to the back foot at the mercy of the accuracy of the champion in round 6. The capable visitor did appear to look frustrated through 7 and 8 as Burnett dictated the pattern of the action, Parejo often losing his composure in spells. Round 9 saw Parejo spring to life in an attempt to re-establish himself in the fight, displaying the type of class that earned himself the opportunity. Burnett showed great patience going into the tenth, comfortably in control yet consistently respectful of Parejo’s determined challenge. The illusive Burnett did start to apply pressure through the final minutes in an attempt to finish in style.. Both fighters continued to engage throughout the final round of a bout that was highly entertaining but always in the Champions favour.
Scores were.. 120-108 Twice.. 116-112.
Following the bout, Burnett revealed that he had boxed from round 3 onwards with a broken hand.