IBF world bantamweight champion Lee Haskins has been lured to the Titanic Qarter on the banks of the River Lagan, to the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland to defend his belt against Belfast’s rising star name Ryan Burnett on 10th June.
Lee Haskins has an unorthodox style about him,he is a tricky southpaw and will present plenty for Burnett to think about. Haskins likes to box with his hands down and has a more lucid style than most. This has proved both a strength and a weakness for the Bristolian over the years.
His low right hand lead can leave him susceptible to being countered over the top but on the flip side he is able to pepper off unpredictable shots from down low such as a sneaky right hook counter that he likes to throw.This makes him harder to read than most and allows him to evade with movement. At 33 years of age though he is no spring chicken and when his reflexes start to slow down he may be in trouble.
Having said that he has been boxing very well of late. His last couple of fights he has comprehensively won on the scorecards. Haskins represents a big step up in level for Burnett and despite being champion he is the clear underdog to retain his title.
The bookmakers have priced in favour of the local boy Burnett. He is a sharp boxer who has been tipped for a long time to do big things on the professional scene due to his exploits as a youth amateur. He won an olympic youth gold medal in 2010.
Since turning professional in 2013 he has not put a foot wrong and the fact that he is boxing for a world title in only his 16th fight is testament to the undoubted talent that he possesses.
He has linked up with esteemed british trainer Adam Booth training in his London gym. Booth seems fully confident that his charge is ready for the challenge despite some suggesting that the opportunity has come a touch too soon for the 25 year old Belfast fighter.
Whilst Burnett hasn’t blown all of his opponents out he does possess decent power and will be looking to land something significant on a man in Haskins who has suffered all three of his career losses via way of KO.
It will be very interesting to see who can establish territorial dominance and take the centre of the ring. Burnett’s mental ability will be tested in this fight as much as his physical. His success will depend on how quickly he can figure Haskins out. This could be close.