LEE HASKINS turned in one of the finest performances of his career to win the interim IBF bantamweight title with a sixth-round stoppage win over Japan’s Ryosuke Iwasa in Bristol.
Haskins – for too long starved of a chance at world gold – was in control from the start and this victory could set up a shot at the injured champion, Randy Caballero.
The switch-hitting Brit was in control from the start and a delightful left-right worried Iwasa in the second round before the visitor recovered in the fourth. He landed a series of shots – the best a left hook – to leave the contest poised before Haskins regained control.
Haskins had to walk through another left hook in the sixth, that bloodied his nose, before connecting with a terrific blast of his own. It decked Iwasa and the end was nigh. The Japanese fighter’s ordeal was concluded with a follow up barrage leaving Haskins – at the age of 32 – to toast the best win of his career.