Lee Haskins retains IBF title against Ivan Morales in impressive fashion

Lee Haskins retains IBF title against Ivan Morales in impressive fashion

By Tom Eckett

May 14, 2016


Tonight, the fight fans were treated to an action-packed night of boxing at the Ice Rink Arena in Cardiff, Wales, UK -- provided by Cyclone Promotions and Sanigar Events where Lee Haskins defended his IBF title against Ivan Morales. Also on the card was Craig Kennedy, who was in a war with Belgian’s Joel Dzeko, and Wales’ very own Andrew Selby.

One of Britain’s most underrated fighters, Lee Haskins, won a unanimous decision against a below par Morales, who was looking to become the third Morales brother to win a world title. Haskins was in control for the majority of the fight, moving in and out of range with ease, without inflicting too much damage on the lesser-skilled Morales.

One judge scored the bout 119-109 whilst the other two had scores of 118-110. Haskins is now mandated to fight a rematch with Stuart Hall, who he beat comfortably in a unanimous decision back in 2012. Haskins was more than open to a second fight and had these words to say about him after the fight:

If he wants the boxing lesson again, then I’m going to give to him again.
— Lee Haskins

This is a fight that many British boxing fans will be licking their lips at, especially considering the fight is now for a world title and the two fighters genuinely dislike each other. Beyond Hall, there are other domestic options out there for Haskins. There is always the potential rematch with Jamie McDonnell which would be a highly skilled fight. Jamie Sanigar, Haskins’ promoter, would like to make that into a stadium fight in the near future and there is no reason why that unification fight could not happen.

Also on the card was Cardiff’s Kennedy, who managed to come through a war Dzeko. Dzeko had Kennedy down twice in the 10 round fight and even Carl Frampton, Barry McGuigan and Ritchie Woodhall all admitted that they had Dzeko winning the fight. Kennedy managed to take the fight on the scorecards in a split decision 93-95, 95-93 and 95-93.

However, one must not take anything away from Kennedy’s performance. His right eye was cut badly in the first round and to come off the canvas twice and win takes some doing, so his IBF international title is well deserved.

Now moving onto one of Britain’s brightest prospects in Selby, who came through an all action 12 round fight against Louis Norman to win a comfortable unanimous decision and the British flyweight title in just his fifth professional fight.

Selby was the aggressor from the start, however, the 11-2-1 fighter, Norman, caught Selby with some shots of his own and there are certainly defensive areas which Selby needs to improve on if he is going to become the world champion that everyone expects him to be.

All in all, Cyclone Promotions and Sanigar Events put on a fantastic night of boxing in which Haskins defended his IBF title for the first time. Channel 5 put the event together very well showing just the Haskins and the Kennedy fights and I’m sure we have more nights like these to look forward to in the near future.


(Feature photo: John Locher/Associate Press)

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