Lee Haskins was stopped at British level. He was knocked out at Commonwealth level. He was knocked out at European level by a guy who has lost to 3 different currently active British fighters himself. Yet somehow – & I don’t mean to imply that the free first class travel from Las Vegas to, urm, Bristol & luxury hotel accommodation provided to the IBF’s ‘supervisor’ played any role in him even getting his ‘shot’ – is one of Britain’s dozen (or so – I can’t be bothered to keep count) ‘world champions’.
So for his first defense I wasn’t expecting much & I certainly wasn’t disappointed. “Haskins to defend title against Morales” read the headlines. No, not that Morales – don’t be silly. No, Erik would probably have wanted more than the chicken feed his brother Ivan (who few outside the Morales immediate family will have heard of) will be asking for. Ivan Morales dropped an 8 round decision to somebody by the name of Edgar Jimenez (then 19-11-2) in August so clearly a world title shot was the next logical career step. One might be fooled by Ivan’s rather lofty sounding 29-1 record but alas that too, like this fight’s claims to be a championship of anything, is fraudulent. Its a record built on abominations to the concept of sport as competition – such as his ‘WBC International Title’ fight against a guy who was coming in having lost 5 of his last 6 fights; including his last two on the spin.
On the same card Andrew Selby will fight for a British title against a guy who lost his English title to Charlie Edwards in September. That’s right the deposed no longer champion of England having been shown to not be the best fighter in his division in England is now attempting to become the champion of England, Northern Ireland, Wales & Scotland. Because heaven forbid the two best guys in Southern England/Wales should fight for that title. Granted Selby vs. Edwards needs 18 months plus to stew so the two talented fighters can get paid properly – I don’t take issue with them not fighting just yet. I merely take issue with a fight between anyone other than Selby, Edwards or Kevin Satchell being called a British title fight in that division.