Haskins wants 'big break' after Burnett


Lee Haskins admits his style is not to every boxing fan’s taste but still feels he deserves a break.

The IBF bantamweight champion will make a third world title defense against fellow Briton Ryan Burnett in the challenger’s home city of Belfast Saturday.

After missing out on boxing in Las Vegas when Randy Caballero failed to make the weight in November 2015, Haskins — who was awarded the IBF strap without throwing a punch — hopes victory will tee up a fight in America that he is longing for.

“They say win this and it could be a big one next, but I’ve heard it all before,” Haskins told ESPN.

“I’ve defended the title twice and I’ve heard so many things, so many promises. I missed out on fighting in Las Vegas against Caballero and I would love the chance to fight there.

“I would love to box in America, it would be amazing. I’ve boxed in a few places, but never there. I would fight anybody with a title or if the money is right. I have to provide for my family and that’s why I’m doing this.

“I believe I deserve a break, I’m always winning but always getting slated.”

After points wins against Ivan Morales and Stuart Hall, Haskins hopes a successful third defence against Burnett at the Odyssey Arena will lead to bigger fights against the likes of Shinsuke Yamanaka, Zhanat Zhakiyanov, Juan Carlos Payano, Rau’shee Warren or fellow Jamie McDonnell.

Haskins is an awkward opponent to face, throwing shots at angles, and says he is not going to change his unconventional style to suit fans or promoters.

“It’s probably because of my style that I get criticised,” Haskins added. “Managers don’t want to put me in with their boxers and maybe people don’t like watching my style, but it works for me.

“I’m not going to change my hand in a game of polka for a s—ier hand so I’m going to keep on doing what I’m doing.”

Haskins, 33, hopes his experience will be too much for Northern Irishman Burnett, 25, who will have the backing of his home crowd.

“He’s [Burnett] very talented and very hungry but I feel fine in myself, the strongest and fittest I’ve been, and it will come down to who wants it the most,” Haskins said.


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