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Ryan Burnett vs. Lee Haskins – Results


By Scott Gilfoid: Unbeaten Ryan Burnett (17-0, 9 KOs) unseated International Boxing Federation World bantamweight champion Lee Haskins (34-4, 14 KOs) by a 12 round split decision on Saturday night at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Burnett dropped Haskins twice in the fight in knocking him down in the 6th and 11th rounds. Both fighters were cut from a clash of heads in the 2nd round.

Fortunately for the boxing fans, the cuts didn’t worsen to the point where the fight needed to be stopped.

The final judges’ scores were 119-107, 119-107 for Burnett and 118-108 for Haskins. The judge that scored it for the 33-year-old Haskins may have accidentally put the wrong name in the box, because this was a clear win for Burnett. Boxing News 24 scored the fight for Burnett by a 119-107 score. I don’t think there was anything sinister about the judge scoring it for Haskins. He had to have made a simple mistake of putting the score in the wrong box. I don’t think anyone would have given the win for Haskins tonight, because he was so dominated. He was dropped twice and beaten up pretty badly for the last 6 rounds of the contest. If you want to be kind, you could say that Haskins might have won 2 rounds at best.

Burnett, 25, was too strong for the 33-year-old Haskins tonight. There were no ifs or buts about it. Burnett was the better fighter tonight.

Haskins was at his best in the first 2 rounds. He was at his strongest at that point in the fight. If the match was only a 6-rounder, Haskins would have had a chance to win. Unfortunately for Haskins, Burnett’s punching power and speed proved to be too much for him as the fight wore on. Haskins was initially fighting Burnett at a standstill in the first couple of rounds, but from the 3rd round on, it was clear that Burnett was simply too good for Haskins to deal with. I scored rounds 3 through 12 for Burnett. He was doing the better work and landing the harder shots.

Each time there was separation between the two fighters, Burnett was able to catch Haskins clean with big punches to the head and body. The only time that Haskins was able to do well was when Burnett would rush forward and try and land something big. Haskins was able to catch Burnett coming in much of the time. However, there weren’t enough of those situations for Haskins to win rounds. Most of the time when Burnett could come forward to land a pot shot, he would succeed.

In the 11th, Burnett dropped Haskins with a short left hand to the head when he was in close and squared up. Haskins wasn’t hurt. He just wasn’t in the position to take the shot. It was more of a push than an actual hurtful shot from Burnett. After Haskins got back to his feet, Burnett bum rushed him, throwing 10 power shots, with most of them missing badly. Only 3 of the punches actually landed, and they weren’t hard enough punches to worry Haskins. Burnett showed his inexperience with the way he attacked Haskins. If Burnett had been more slow and purposeful, he might have been able to finish Haskins off. However, I don’t think Haskins was actually hurt.

The loss for Haskins ends his 2-year reign as the IBF bantamweight champion. Haskins won the IBF belt outside of the ring in November 2015 after the previous champion Randy Caballero was stripped of the strap. Haskins then successfully defended the IBF title twice in beating Ivan Morales and Stuart Hall.

“I believe a new star is born in Belfast,” said promoter Eddie Hearn after the fight about Burnett. “I believe the scores were put in the wrong box,” said Hearn about the judge that scored the fight for Haskins. “I believe Burnett won by a 12 round unanimous decision tonight. I’m going to speak to Adam Smith tomorrow.”

“He’ll only get better from here,” said trainer Adam Booth about Burnett.

“He hurt me a couple of times,” said Burnett about Haskins. “I was focusing every second what I wanted to do. Haskins is a serious competitor. When I heard the decision, I thought, ‘Oh God, they’re going to take it away from me.’ I believe the best man won tonight. I got hurt a couple of times, but I stuck with it,” said Burnett.

It should be interesting to see if Burnett is able to hold onto the IBF title for any length of time. Burnett looked good tonight, but he wasn’t that much better than Haskins. Burnett was just a little faster and a little stronger. The youth was enough for Burnett to get the win. Burnett came into the fight tonight rated #12 IBF and #12 WBO.

Burnett is going to have a very hard time trying to hold onto the IBF belt. He might be fine as long as he can be steered around Emmanuel Rodriguez. Once Burnett has to face him, I see him losing badly to that guy, because he’s a real talent.

Haskins needs to go back to the drawing board and work on the mistakes he made in the fight. Haskins should have known that he wasn’t going to be able to beat a younger, faster and stronger fighter like Burnett by standing directly in front of him for the full 12 rounds of the fight. Haskins should have adapted and come up with a different game plan to keep Burnett from landing his shots.

The one thing that Haskins should have tried was to use movement to keep out of range of Burnett. This is something that Haskins didn’t even trying. He wasn’t attempting to use his boxing skills. He was just brawling with Burnett for the entire fight, and that was dumb, dumb and dumb. It just makes me think that Haskins didn’t work on preparing for Burnett in the right way, because anyone could see going into the fight that Burnett was going to be too strong and young for Haskins to deal with by slugging.

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