Monday, March 27, 2023  |


Ryan Burnett to challenge Haskins for IBF 118-pound title

(From left to right) Trainer Adam Booth, Ryan Burnett and promoter Eddie Hearn. Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Unbeaten contender Ryan Burnett will challenge Lee Haskins for the IBF bantamweight title at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on June 10.

Burnett (16-0, 9 knockouts) gets his first world title shot on home ground and the 24-year-old boxer-puncher is confident of making his dreams come true and maintaining his unbeaten record.

Haskins, who is rated No. 3 by THE RING at 118 pounds, was upgraded to full IBF titleholder when Randy Caballero failed to make weight for their fight in November 2015. The 33-year-old southpaw has defended successfully twice, against Ivan Morales and countryman Stuart Hall.

“I always dreamed of headlining in Belfast,” said Burnett, who is trained by acclaimed coach Adam Booth. “Now I have the opportunity to do it for a world title. I’m so excited.

“Lee Haskins has been in the game a long time, so he’s probably been in this situation before. But the Belfast crowd are very passionate for their fighter and will be making plenty of noise on the night.”

Haskins (34-3, 13 KOs) is unquestionably the more battle-tested and experienced fighter. The Englishman turned professional 14 years ago and, world title aside, has also held British, Commonwealth and European championships.

Burnett acknowledges his opponent’s quality but is confident of upsetting the odds.

“Lee is very good, but I know he hasn’t fought anyone like me before,” said the challenger. “I boxed a southpaw earlier this year and we’ll have plenty of southpaw sparring in the gym. We’ve already been sparring quite a bit to get me in the correct rhythm, so I don’t think the stance will bother me much.

“Adam has been teaching me stuff that I didn’t even know existed. I thought I knew boxing, but when I went with Adam I quickly realized I didn’t know much at all. It’s been just over two years since I’ve been working with him. He’s taken away my bad habits and (is) bringing me round to being a world class fighter.”

First details of the undercard will be revealed next Wednesday when the pair come face to face at the launch press conference.

Tickets will go on sale to Matchroom Fight Pass members on Wednesday May 3, with tickets on general sale the following day (Thursday May 4) – full ticket details will be released soon.

Information provided courtesy of a press release issued by Matchroom Boxing




Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for and a member of THE RING ratings panel.  Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing