Ryan Burnett surrenders WBA world bantamweight title after suffering freak back injury as Filipino Flash Nonito Donaire advances to World Boxing Super Series semi-finals
- Ryan Burnett was forced to retire after only four rounds against Nonito Donaire
- Northern Irishman suffered his first career defeat after picking up back injury
- Donaire picks up WBA bantamweight crown and reaches WBSS semi-finals
Ryan Burnett’s brief reign as a world bantamweight champion ended with the Ulsterman collapsing in agony and then hobbling to his corner, where he slumped onto his stool in despair and defeat.
The sudden spasm of pain which gripped the right side of his lower back left Burnett at the mercy of the legendary Donito Donaire, who has now added an eighth world title to his glittering collection in four weight divisions.
It was a freak and fateful injury which brought these WBA championship proceedings to a conclusion at the end of the fourth round but Burnett was already looking a little out of his depth against the Filipino Flash.
Britain’s Ryan Burnett was forced to pull out after four rounds of his clash with Nonito Donaire
He lost his unbeaten record and bantamweight world title after suffering a freak back injury
Donaire has fallen slightly short of the prophecy that he would become the heir to the Philippines throne of Manny Paquiao but nevertheless he is an accomplished performer.
Add his skills to the punching power he possesess back down at bantamweight and the best chance for Burnett appeared to the hope that Donaire would feel his 35 years and the eight-year age difference later in the battle.
But we never found out.
Burnett, for his part, has been lauded as the next Carl Frampton but he had already soaked up significant punishment before sinking to his knees as he appeared to strain the back while missing with a wild right.
Donaire goes on to the semi finals of the World Super Series tournament, Burnett into rehab and contemplation of where rhe future lies after his first defeat.
The Filipino Flash Donaire, a former four-weight world champion, advances to the semi-finals
Burnett was seen wincing in pain and holding his back following the sudden injury on Saturday
Donaire had trained back down to bantamweight for the first time in seven years.
Would he be drained by making the weight or would the 35-year-old retrieve the old knock-out power with which he piled up his world titles against a lighter, albeit younger, champion.
Burnett tasted the first of his challenger’s punches early, taking to the jaw the crisp lets and rights which give Donaire the opening round.
The Ulsterman went on the attack in the second and edged the to-and-fro exchanges as a promising fight came to life.
In the first three rounds, Burnett had enjoyed success in the World Boxing Super Series clash
Burnett sent Donaire stumbling backwards with a heft right in the third but the round had been lost earlier as he took two poundings in a neutral corner
Midway through the fourth Burnett slumped to his knees, clutching the area behind his ritght hip.
He climbed to his feet clearly in pain, somehow to survive an onslaught from Donaire. He was barely able to limp back to his corner but once there his corner summoned referee Howard Foster and pulled Burnett of the fight.
Hopefully to fight another day.
Donaire celebrated briefly en route to consoling his victim.
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