Haskins vs Burnett: Ryan Burnett takes IBF title from Lee Haskins after a dominant points victory
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 11/06/17 4:38pm
Ryan Burnett was crowned the new IBF bantamweight champion after he floored Lee Haskins twice in a hugely impressive points victory in Belfast.
The Belfast man dropped Haskins in the sixth and 11th rounds in a dominant performance, but one judge bizarrely scored it 118-108 in favour of the Bristol fighter, with the other two officials rightly handing in convincing totals of 119-107 for Burnett at the Odyssey Arena.
Burnett darted into range in the opening round, landing a number of crisp right hands to quickly gain the respect of Haskins.
A head clash left both men with cuts in the second round, with Burnett's wound looking more severe, but he landed that accurate right hand again while blinking through the blood.
Clever feints and movement from Burnett were drawing mistakes from Haskins, who was tagged by further punches in the third and ended the round with another cut by his eye.
Burnett retained his composure, despite frequent head clashes, and broke through the defences of Haskins in the sixth.
A right hand snapped back the head of Haskins and Burnett followed up with a right hook, forcing his dazed opponent to take a knee.
Haskins held off the home favourite for the remainder of that round, but continued to be punished by right hands and was bruised and bloodied at the end of the eighth.
With the fight in his grasp, Burnett searched for a late stoppage and wobbled Haskins with a right hand in the 10th.
Haskins was bundled to the canvas after a flurry of punches in the 11th and sagged wearily on the ropes in the closing seconds.
Into the last round, Burnett could not find a finishing punch, but the hometown crowd roared their approval as the final bell signalled the end of a classy victory.