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Razor-sharp Burnett ready for world title fight

The countdown is for the biggest fight of Ryan Burnett's life.

The 24-year-old Belfast boxer will challenge Lee Haskins for the IBF World Bantamweight title next month.

Burnett was looking razor sharp as he trained in front for hundreds of people and said he's ready for the pressure.

"I'm feeling great, training has gone perfectly and I've two weeks of hard training left and I'm looking forwrad to it," he told UTV.

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Brave McCullough loses British title bid

Belfast featherweight Marco McCullough lost out to Cromer's Ryan Walsh in their British title fight, despite a gutsy performance at the Copper Box Arena.

Walsh stopped McCullough in the 11th round, claiming the WBO Inter-Continental title, and winning the Lonsdale belt outright.

With a height and reach advantage, the Northern Irish fighter looked to establish his jab in the early stages, but the heavier shots in the opening rounds came from the more compact Walsh.

In the fourth round the pair traded with Walsh landing a heavy uppercut that shook McCullough, forcing him against the ropes and hanging on until the bell rang, bringing some respite.

In the fifth and sixth rounds, the Shankill man regrouped and began to use the jab more effectively, clipping Walsh with a sharp left hand just before the bell in the sixth.

McCullough took the initiative in the seventh and was the busier fighter, but Walsh maintained enough distance to stop him landing any significant blows.

In the eighth round, McCullough landed some decent body shots early on, but allowed himself to be hemmed in against the ropes, with the Norfolk fighter switching stance to southpaw and connecting with some vicious strikes.

A quieter ninth round followed, with McCullough more elusive and doing a better job of keeping the confident looking Walsh at bay. He landed well with some good counter-striking, but again in the tenth, it was Walsh who was the more aggressive of the two and scenting blood as the bell approached, he went for the finish.

McCullough absorbed some damage but bravely traded with his back against the ropes, at one point even beckoning Walsh in. The Belfast man was arguably the more accurate, landing cleaner blows in the exchange.

Going into the penultimate round, McCullough, clearly buoyed by the success he had in the closing stages of the tenth, started quickly. Loose tap on his glove caused a break that stalled his momentum. On the resumption of hostilities, Walsh launched a sustained attack, pinning McCullough against the ropes with a flurry of punches. While he was able to fire back with single shots, referee Howard Foster had seen enough and stepped in to wave the fight off.

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