Not only will Lee Haskins successfully defend his IBF bantamweight title against Belfast’s Ryan Burnett next month, it will be a case of man against boy.
Those are the thoughts of Jamie Sanigar, manager of the 33 year old Bristolian.
The young manager, son of esteemed British boxing man Chris, was in Belfast during the week to launch the June 10th Sky Sports card, and believes the fight is something of a mismatch.
Sanigar recalled how “we had a little chuckle when we saw the name of the show – ‘Belfast Boy’ – because that’s what this is – a man against a boy.”
Charting the career of Haskins [34(14)-3(3)], he described how “Lee Haskins two-time British, two-time Commonwealth, two-time European, and now IBF bantamweight champion of the World. In the last nine and half years he has only had one defeat.”
“He has beaten champion in Jamie McDonnell and Stuart Hall, he beat Omar Lamiri in France for the European title. They brought over a Japanese boxer Ryosuke Iwasa, who was meant to be the next big thing, and Haskins knocked him out.”
“Lee Haskins is a tremendous champion who doesn’t get the credit he deserves as one of the best British World champions.”
Fighting in Belfast wont be an issue for the Playboy either. Sanigar explained that “hostile territory won’t faze Haskins.”
“We have been all over the world fighting France, Spain, we even boxed in a market square in Morocco in the middle of the day with goats walking around ringside.”
“We came to Belfast a couple years ago with another fighter when Lee Selby fought Martin Lindsay. That was a hostile territory, but Belfast is a boxing crowd and when they seen Selby going to work against Martin Lindsay the quietened down and they applauded him.”
“The same will happen on June 10th.”
Indeed Sanigar believes that 24 year old Burnett [16(9)-0] is being set up for a fall, and that he is being overhyped at this stage of his career.
“With regards to Ryan Burnett – Adam Smith, Eddie Hearn, Sky Sports, Matchroom Boxing, they have rolled out the red carpet for him. The hype machine is in full swing,” claimed Sanigar.
“What you hear you think it’s the second coming of Eric Morales, but when your actually watching the performances I can’t see it.”
“He is a very talented boy, very good junior career as an amateur, unblemished 16-fight career as a pro, but he is still at domestic level and i think they have taken the jump too quickly.”
The undercard of the bumper bill next month features Feargal McCrory, Matt Wilton, Padraig McCrory, Paul Hyland Jr, James Tennyson, Sean Magee, and Paddy Gallagher.
Tickets cost £30, £40, £60, £100, and £150 (VIP), and can be bought from the boxers involved or HERE.
Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 4 of The Irish Boxing Show