Tuesday, July 7, 2009

British Scene: Haskins vs Burkinshaw Preview

Sky will be in Sunderland this Friday night for the Lee Haskins vs Ross Burnkinshaw British super-flyweight title fight. Haskins will be attempting the first defense of the crown he won last November from Andy Bell.

The card also features fan favourite light-heavyweight Tony Jeffries. The Olympic bronze medalist will be making his 3rd pro appearance in a 4 rounder against Ilya Shakuro.

Matt Chudley has the preview.

Make sure to check back in after the weekend for Matt's recap.

Friday, July 10

Lee Haskins vs Ross Burkinshaw (Sky 2)

By Matt Chudley

This Friday night at the Seaburn Centre in Sunderland, Lee Haskins defends his British Super-flyweight title against serving British Soldier Ross Burkinshaw. The main attraction and reason why both Haskins and Burkinshaw are fighting more than 100 miles from home is the occasion of Tony Jeffries's third pro fight. The Olympic Bronze medalist and North-East sports personality of the year has quickly emerged as a fan favourite and huge ticket seller.

In a similar vein to Ricky Hatton, Jeffries has a strong affiliation with his local football team and possesses a humble yet jovial disposition. With Sky Sport's minimum requirement for a live Friday Fight Night card being a British or Commonwealth title fight, it can be expected that many a Frank Maloney promoted title fight will gravitate to the Tyne and Wear vicinity over the next few years.

Defending his Lonsdale belt for the first time, Lee Haskins will be looking to remain unbeaten below Bantamweight. The once hyped prospects' two defeats both came at the 118lb limit, in a one sided 6th round stoppage at the hands of the classy Tshifhiwa Munyai and then a withdrawal after 7 rounds against Ian Napa due to a hand injury.

Struggling to make 112lbs and having come unstuck at bantam, Haskins believes he has found his niche following the 2007 introduction of the British super-flyweight title and will be looking to rebuild his career there after having featured in the WBO top 10 at flyweight back in 2006.

Currently a member of the Rifles Regiment of the British Army, the 22 year old Burkinshaw will be contending for the Lonsdale belt in only his 10th professional fight. Holding a 6-1-2 record and formerly a two time combined services champion in the amateurs, Burkinshaw has been given the opportunity to fight in the paid ranks as part of a PR move by the Army. With his only defeat resulting from a dislocated shoulder and being tall for the weight at 5'8, the teak tough soldier will present some interesting problems for the wild southpaw from Bristol who struggled with the superior reach of Munyai previously.

The undercard...

The aforementioned Jeffries will take on 2-1 Belarussian Ilya Shakuro in the featured preliminary. The 20 year old Shakuro is on a two fight winning streak, after starting his career with a loss last November.

Also on the bill is fellow Northumberland prospect Travis Dickinson. Dickinson won two junior ABA titles defeating blue chip prospect George Groves in the process and will be joined on the card by his brother Jon-Lewis. Travis will take on 9-6 Iranian Hamed Jamali over 4 rounds at light heavyweight, while Jon-Lewis will go against a short notice opponent over 4 at cruiserweight.

Brian Rose 12-0-1 will also see action against 5-2 Frenchman Francis Togba Tchoffo in a 154lb 8 round contest.

e-mail Matt Chudley