Lee Haskins vs. Stuart Hall on Brook-Golovkin card

By Boxing News - 07/13/2016 - Comments

Image: Lee Haskins vs. Stuart Hall on Brook-Golovkin card

By Scott Gilfoid: IBF World bantamweight champion Lee Haskins (33-3-, 14 KOs) will be making his second defense of his IBF belt against 36-year-old Stuart Hall (20-4-2, 7 KOs) on September 10 on the undercard of the Gennady “GGG” Golovkin vs. Kell Brook card at the O2 Arena in London, England. The fight card will be televised on Sky Box Office pay-per-view in the UK. I can’t say that the Haskins vs. Hall fight is a good one, because I don’t think it is. There are a number of fighters that I feel are more deserving of a title shot than Hall at the moment in my view.

Haskins, 33, has already easily beaten Hall in the past four years ago in defeating him by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in 2012. Hall has since posted an 8-2-1 record with most of his victories coming against weaker opposition Hall has won his last four fights since suffering back to back losses to Randy Caballero and Paul Butler in 2014.

Hall’s last four wins have come against Edwin Tellez (9-18-5), Arnoldo Solano (14-10), Elvis Guillen (9-16-4) and Rodrigo Guerrero (24-5-1). Surprisingly, the International Boxing Federation has given Hall a No.1 ranking with their organization based on those wins. It doesn’t quite add up, but that’s the IBF with their rankings. It kind of goes along with the IBF’s past rankings of matching guys like Kevin Bizier and Jo Jo Dan as No.1 at welterweight, while having arguably more talented welterweights like Shawn Porter and Errol Spence ranked below those guys. None of the other sanctioning bodies has Hall ranked in their top 15. It’s just the IBF that has him ranked with them giving him a #1 ranking based on his wins over four straight journeymen level opponents.

“September 10 has just become even bigger with this domestic world title grudge match added to the card,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to skysports.com. “It’s a real 50-50 clash and with the domestic 118lbs scene really hotting up, it’s a must win for both fighters.”

I really don’t know that you can say that the Golovkin vs. Brook fight card is improved with the addition of the Haskins-Hall fight. I don’t see it as a great fight, to be honest. I mean, Haskins already whipped Hall badly in the past, so I don’t see how a second fight between them is really necessary. If you saw the fight you’d know what I’m talking about. It was so, so one-sided that you can tell that if these two guys fight each other 100 times, Haskins will win 100 times. Where’s the excitement about that? Hearn can flap his gums about it being a 50-50 fight if he wants to, but it’s not. It’s a mismatch in my view. Haskins will beat Hall a second time and it’ll be boring. I just hope that this is the first fight of the night and not the co-feature but on the card because it would be awful TV.

The Haskins vs. Hall fight will make it onto the Sky Box Office part of the telecast in the UK, but it won’t be shown in the United States on HBO. It’s not surprising that the fight won’t be shown in the U.S, because casual boxing fans don’t know who either of these guys are. It wouldn’t add much to the card for the fans in the U.S to see two guys for the first time. Further, Haskins has a highly mobile style of fighting that is an acquired taste. It’s not a style that many U.S fans would likely enjoy seeing. The U.S fight fans like to see a lot of slugging it out rather than fighters that use a hit and run style like Haskins typically uses.

I guess the Haskins vs. Hall fight is the one that Hearn was talking about when he was saying he had a big world title fight announcement this week. I’m not sure that I see this as a big fight. To be honest, I see Haskins as a paper champion at bantamweight, and Hall as a fighter that I don’t consider a top 15 contender.

I rate these fighters as being better than Haskins:

Juan Carlos Payano
Jamie McDonnell
Tomoki Kameda
Shinsuke Yamanaka
Rau-shee Warren

Haskins, 33, is a decent fighter, but I see him as No.6 at bantamweight, and I don’t think he should be holding a world title in this division; not when you’ve got guys like Payano and Kameda out there.

Haskins defended his IBF title last May in beating fringe contender Ivan Morales by a dull 12 round unanimous decision. Haskins used his hit and run style all night long to evade the pressure that Morales was putting on him. It was hard to watch the fight because Haskins was moving so much and turning the bout into a game of cat and mouse. It wasn’t the entertaining fight I’ve ever seen, but Haskins did what he had to do for him to beat #13 IBF Morales. Haskins had a near bottom ranked contender to defend against, so it wasn’t surprising that he won.

Hearn also added the following fight to the Golovkin-Brook fight card: IBF flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero vs. Charlie Edwards. This will be a voluntary defense for Casimero, as Edwards is ranked #14 by the IBF.