IBF bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett will face WBA champion Zhanat Zhakiyanov at the SSE Arena in Belfast on October 21st.

The SSE Arena is the same venue where Burnett won the IBF strap after a points victory against Lee Haskins back in June.

The points victory was surrounded in controversy after one of the judges mixed up his score cards.

Charles McQuillan/Getty Images Sport

Zhakiyanov endured two first-round knockdowns to become WBA champion by beating Rau’shee Warren on points in Ohio.

The WBA champion is currently trained by Ricky Hatton who was Burnett’s trainer before moving to Matchroom.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Burnett believes this fight will make him a ‘great’ world champion.

I’m very excited.

This is the path I’ve always believed in and asked for – to be not just a world champion but a great world champion and this is exactly the fight that propels me into that position,

Promoter Eddie Hearn realises this is a historic occasion for Burnett.

I’m so proud firstly to be part of history in bringing this huge unification to Belfast but also of Ryan Burnett for taking on this huge challenge.

Following his great win against Haskins for the title, it would have been so easy to come back to Belfast with a standard defence but Ryan wants to be great and make history and this fight against Zhakiyanov can do just that.

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