Ricky Hatton sang the praises of Ryan Burnett today after the amateur sensation was granted a long-awaited licence by the British Boxing Board of Control.
The Northern-Irish bantamweight signed with Hatton Promotions in January 2012 after an incredible amateur career, but his introduction to the professional ranks has been hampered by injury.
Yet the 20-year-old is a rare talent, possessing a glittering amateur record of 94 or 98 wins which has seen the Hitman stick with his fighter throughout his injury-blighted 2012.
“I am extremely excited about this young man entering the professional ranks,” said Hatton today.
“I’ve been working with him for a while now and ever since he walked into the gym I thought this kid is a special talent.
“I believe he will go all the way and follow in the footsteps of so many of Ireland’s finest that have gone before him.
“That’s providing he has all the attributes needed, like self-belief, dedication, chin and the ability to keep his feet on the ground once all the praise and pats on his back come his way.”
Hatton – who doubles as Burnett’s promoter and coach – is not the only one predicting big things for the Belfaster boxing prodigy
With seven All-Ireland titles, six Antrim titles, four Ulster titles and a gold medal at the Youth Olympics, the boxing world expects big things from this young man.
And the trophy-laden Burnett admits he is chomping at the bit after 12 months of enforced inactivity, finally ended when medical specialists gave him the go-ahead.
“It’s been a nearly a year and it’s been a frustrating wait but thankfully it’s sorted now,” he said.
“I never let things get to me, though. I keep in the gym, keep working on things and kept learning.
“I feel I’ve got a bit of time to make up now and I’m want to rock on. I can’t wait to get in there now and I definitely want to go back to my home town, Belfast, and have a few fights at some point as well.”
Picture courtesy of Mark Robinson and Hatton Promotions, with thanks.