In his own words, Chris Sanigar reacts to Haskinsburnett
FIRSTLY, congratulations to Ryan Burnett for winning the IBF featherweight title.
Ryan showed good speed, skill, and punch resistance to outpoint my boxer Lee Haskins and was a worthy winner.
It was pleasing that the Belfast crowd cheered Haskins from the ring as it was a much more competitive fight than the score cards suggested. Lee showed true grit that is renowned from our camp, but he will be frustrated at how often he was caught with the lead right hand.
I have subscribed to Boxing News since 1973 and I have only written into the office on a few occasions, but the boxing report has prompted me to clarify the facts on the Haskins-burnett contest.
At the press conference, I said Haskins would win the first six rounds. This was a ploy hoping that Ryan would come out fast and box at a pace that he was not used to boxing. Lee at 34 was always going to have a problem with the younger man’s speed, so our plan was on winning the latter part of the fight.
I thought Haskins won the first round, also I believe the judges did as two went 119 and the third 118. I also thought on the night Haskins had won the fifth that maybe how the 3rd judge saw it. Looking on TV maybe it was a drawn round but in the corner, I was thinking 2-3 or 1-1-3 Haskins was slightly behind going into the sixth with our intention of Lee upping the pace. He was having a good sixth when he sustained a freak shoulder injury resulting in him not being able to raise his right arm.
In that split-second Haskins mind was foolishly on the injury and stepped back without defence. Ryan threw a peach of a right hand that dropped Lee to the canvas. Lee was conscious and looked to our corner pointing at his shoulder. He took the eight count and then rose to continue boxing and weathered Ryan`s onslaught. I am disappointed in the June 15 report as the injury was only briefly mentioned. The injury was the most crucial part of the fight as it resulted in Ryan being a clear winner. Lee had to box with one arm and his chances of victory were now very slim. Ryan Burnett boxed well at distance to win the seventh to the 12th. Lee had an MRI on his shoulder last week and we are awaiting the results.
Lee was not “felled heavily” in the 11th round but was clearly pushed, as it showed on the TV replay. Lee indicated that he was pushed and sprung up like a gymnast. If that was a worthy knock down then when Haskins bundled Ryan Burnett down with punches and a shove in the second round that should’ve been counted.
I saw referee Marcus Mcdonnell afterwards and I told him what I thought and he gave me his views, but that is between two professional licence holders.
The clash of heads in the second round clearly showed on TV that it was Ryan`s head that went into Lee`s head. I do not think it was intentional but it was dangerous and it did cause the cut on Haskins. Both boxers conducted themselves in a sporting manner prior, during and after the contest as did both teams.
Lee came to see me last week and his first words were, “What`s next?” and “I am hungry to get my title back.” Lee is a two-time British champion, two-time Commonwealth champion and two-time European champion and now he wants to be two-time world champion.
Full praise to Ryan Burnett, he was the better man on the night and I wish him and his team a bright future.
Nobody knows what would have happened if Lee did not have the injury, maybe a return after Ryan fulfils his mandatory would be fair.
CLASSY PAIR: Haskins and Burnett were consummate professionals before, during and after their clash