Boxing Preview – Haskins v Burnett

Lee Haskins (34-3) will be making the third defence of his IBF World bantamweight title against the young lion Ryan Burnett (16-0) at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast this Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.

The unbeaten challenger gets the home advantage in front of a sold-out, vociferous Belfast crowd, known for their passionate and loyal support of local fighters.

However, the experienced champion has voiced his plans to silence the “best fans in the world” and is relishing the chance to make the trip to Northern Ireland.

The Bristol ‘Playboy’ has established himself as the IBF champion by out-pointing Ivan Morales (29-1) and then beating old foe Stuey Hall (20-4-2), after initially inheriting the title as the interim champion.

The Bristolian southpaw has done everything right in his career by working his way up from English, Commonwealth, British, European, Inter-Continentals and Interim titles, to the pinnacle being the IBF World title.

The 33-year-old has been a pro since 2003 so will have 14-years of experience over the young contender, who has only been paid to punch since 2013, making his debut exactly 10-years later than Haskins.

Burnett is young, hungry, and has one-punch knockout power in his right fist. He’s busy, fleet-footed with good head movement and, seemingly, has it all, but this fight will prove if he is, in fact, the real deal, like we all expect he is.

He knows how to finish off a fight, we got to see that in emphatic fashion against Robert Kanalas (10-4) to win the WBO European title.

Haskin’s style of carrying his hands low and moving from side to side could see him catch one flush from Burnett. I can picture the trademark right hand that could finish the fight at any moment.

I don’t believe that Haskins could finish the fight early as he doesn’t have the power to, he could only win on points, in my view, by using his ringcraft and counter-punching to steer clear and nick the rounds.

I think that Burnett will have it hard all the way through the fight but his youth, speed and vim will catch up with and outwork the champion in most of the rounds and will likely go on to win on points.


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