Lee Haskins looking to re-capture European title on Golovkin-Murray card
On the undercard of Gennady Golovkin’s middleweight title defense against Martin Murray in Monte Carlo this Saturday, Lee Haskins takes on Omar Lamiri for the vacant European bantamweight title.
Haskins (30-3, 13 knockouts) admits to being in the dark regarding his French opponent.
“I don’t really know too much about the kid,” Haskins told RingTV.com en route to Monte Carlo. “I know that I’ve done everything I possibly could for this fight in training. I’m very fit, very focused and ready to get on with the job now.”
The opportunity to box in such exotic surroundings as well as being on a Golovkin undercard is something that Haskins is keen to embrace.
“That’s the main thing, I’m on the Golovkin undercard,” he said. “It’s going to be great to see him, meet him and this is the first time for me here, maybe the last. It’s one of those things where I can say I’ve been there, done it, fought over there and [I can] tell the kids. I’m all about getting over there and enjoying it, I’m not worried, I’m just looking forward to having a great show.”
Haskins previously held the European 118-pound title in 2012, when he bested future world champion Stuart Hall. He lost the title in his maiden defense in a war against Stephane Jamoye.
The Bristol-born fighter is keen to get his old title back.
“I’d really like to win it back,” he said. “Any titles I’m going for I want to win them. I want to win this one again; it would be great to have two European titles at home.”
Following the Jamoye loss, Haskins rebounded to win the British bantamweight title, impressively stopping Martin Ward in the spring of 2013. He then outpointed veteran Jason Booth to retain his title and was primed for a big 2014.
However, it turned out to be a wasted year through no fault of his or his team; several opponents fell out at late notice, meaning Haskins instead took two stay-busy fights.
Haskins is guided by one of the most respected figures in British boxing circles, Chris Sanigar, who was able to procure this opportunity to face Lamiri.
“Chris always seems to pull something out of the bag,” Haskins explained. “It’s not my fault I’m not fighting that much. It’s hard enough for us to get the opponents to box.
“It’s crazy for the British [bantamweight title] we can’t find anyone to defend [against]. It‘s hard work. We’ve got this guy (Lamiri), he wants to take the fight, hopefully it’s a good fight.”
Sanigar has known Haskins since he was 14 and knows this is an important juncture for his charge.
“It’s a massive fight, his most important,” said Sanigar. “If he can win on such a big stage as this, I’m sure a world-title fight will come in 2015.”
The Monte Carlo show is promoted by Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves and is headlined by WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin vs. Martin Murray, which will be shown live on HBO at 5.45 p.m ET/PT. Also on the card, which will be shown in the U.K. on Channel 5 at 10.00 p.m GMT, Haskins faces Lamiri, WBA strawweight champion Hekkie Budler faces his mandatory challenger, Jesus Silvestre, and Hughie Fury meets Andriy Rudenko in an interesting heavyweight bout.
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