Such has been the career of Lee Haskins that most would agree he is a deserving World Champion, Ryan Burnett included.
The Welsh bantamweight has proved a proper road warrior, recovered from early career defeats to win domestic and provincial titles and without massive promotional backing managed to finally win the IBF World title last May, years after he made his pro debut.
However, the latest puncher to welcome Haskins to his home town claims he too has worked hard for his tilt and says it’s time for a new champion.
Belfast’s Burnett, 24, is confident he can dethrone the 33 year old on home turf on June 10th.
“Lee Haskins is a very good operator. He has only been beaten once in nine years, that speaks volumes,” Burnett said.
“He is a great a great Champion. He has been a World champion now for a couple of years and has had a few defences. He fully deserves to be where he is, but I strongly believe it’s time for him to step aside and it’s time for a new champion.”
The reigning Champion, whose ‘Playboy’ ring moniker seems ironic, may be lauded for never giving up on his World title dreams, but Burnett stresses he too has been working toward buckling a World title around his waist for quite some time.
The Adam Booth-trained, Eddie Hearn-promoted fighter is now ready to fulfill his life long dream.
“This is a life changing fight for me. I have a chance to achieve something I have trained for all my life. I have been working on this since I was nine years old. I always wanted to be World Champion. It is something I always strived for and it’s something I always believes can happen. Now after years of hard work I have an opportunity to make my dreams come true.”
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey speak to Jason Quigley on Episode 5 of The Irish Boxing Show: