Lee Haskins [34(14)-3(3)] is feeling fresh and it will take a sensational display from Ryan Burnett to defeat him.
They are the thoughts of the IBF bantamweight champion’s manager Jamie Sanigar.
The awkward Bristolian will be making the third defence of his title, won on the scales against Randy Caballero, in Belfast tonight at the SSE Odyssey Arena – and the Ryan Burnett of recent fights will not trouble him according to the Englishman.
However, far from expecting a schooling, Sanigar admits that the bout is surrounded with intrigue – mainly on the part of 25 year old Burnett [16(9)-0].
Sanigar told Irish-Boxing.com that “I think we know all about Lee Haskins, he’s boxed at this level for a very long time and he’s still fresh.”
“I think the question marks are about what level Ryan Burnett can achieve. When you’ve an unbeaten fighter you’re unsure of the ceiling and it will be interesting to see.”
“If he cannot raise his game to the level of world championship boxing, he will struggle with Lee Haskins, so it makes it interesting.
Trainer Adam Booth and promoter Eddie Hearn have spoken of an “unleashed” Ryan Burnett, and Sanigar too expects the 25 year old to be better than in his previous contests.
The young manager outlined how “we haven’t taken anything for granted, we’re expecting a better Ryan Burnett than we’ve ever seen and I think that’s what’s made it a genuinely interesting fight – you’ve got the young, hungry fighter that’s got the promotional vehicle behind him, then you’ve got the older champion that’s been there and done it.”
“It will interesting to see who comes out victorious.”
Burnett boxed in February in a keep busy fight, however Haskins has not fought since his win over Stuey Hall in September, with a fight against Shohei Omori in Japan in December falling through after a leg injury sustained by the Englishman.
Sanigar views this cancellation as a blessing in disguise and dismissed the possibility of ring rust.
He reasoned that “Lee’s had plenty of sparring and, to be honest, these world champions now, it is six to nine months [between fights]. Lee’s career over recent years, he’s been boxing twice a year so it wont be an issue.”
“In fact, the Japanese cancellation allowed him to take some time off to nurse some little niggles and has allowed him to have a nice injury-free camp. You could see a freshness to his work in the gym, it’s been a benefit.”
The Burnett-Haskins undercard also features an Irish title fight between Ian Tims and Luke Watkins, Feargal McCrory v Paul Holt, James Tennyson v Ryan Doyle, Paul Hyland v Adam Dingsdale and appearances from Padraig McCrory, Matt Wilton, Paddy Gallagher, Sean McGoldrick, Sean Magee, and Tyrone McCullagh, as well as the return of Mike Perez.
Tickets for ‘Belfast Boy’ on June 10th at the SSE Odyssey Arena cost £30, £40, £60, £100, and £150 (VIP), and can be bought HERE. or at the door.
LISTEN: Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill speak to Luke Keeler and Paddy Barnes on Episode 6 of The Irish Boxing Show: