Ryan Burnett was crowned the IBF bantamweight champion last night in Belfast. Burnett produced the performance of his young career, sending Haskins to the floor twice en route to a split decision points win (as predicted on KO Boxing News!).
Burnett forced the pace right from the start, landing those lead jabs and crisp right hands throughout the opening rounds. A head clash in round 2 left both fighters with cuts, but it didn’t deter Burnett. It seemed like he couldn’t miss with the right hand and in the 6th round Burnett landed another sweet right, stunning a dazed Haskins, forcing him to drop to one knee.
Haskins, to his credit, battled through and managed to hold off Burnett. Only to be dropped again in the 11th by a flurry of punches. In the last round you could sense that Burnett wanted to cap a fine performance by stopping Haskins. He really went for it and unleashed a flurry of punches towards the end of the round. With the final bell saving Haskins and giving Belfast a new world champion. Despite one judge scoring the bout 118-108 in favour of Haskins, the other judges scored correctly in favour of Burnett.
At only 25, Burnett has a huge career ahead of him and time on his side, and a possible domestic fight with WBA champ Jamie McDonnell would surely be a massive event. After last night’s dominant performance you wouldn’t bet against Burnett going on to unify the division and defeating all in front of him.