Lee Haskins’ first defence of his IBF world title will be against Mexican boxer Ivan Morales.
Haskins will fight Morales in Cardiff on May 14 in a bout televised live on Channel 5, the boxer announced on Thursday.
“We’re going to send them straight back with their tail between their legs,” said Haskins. “I believe I am the best in the world, and on the 14th I believe I’ll show everyone that.”
Haskins and his team had a bitter-sweet experience in Las Vegas last year when he won the belt by default after former world champion Randy Caballero weighed in as too heavy to compete.
Ivan ‘Niño Maravilla’ Morales, currently IBF number 13 Bantamweight is part of a successful boxing family. Morales’ older brother is Erik Morales, former four-weight World Champion.
At a press conference in Bristol Haskins and his team expressed regret that the fight was not taking place in Bristol, blaming the lack of a proper boxing venue. Haskins’ manager Chris Sanigar added: “The Bristolians will be descending on Cardiff. It’ll be just like Bristol over there.”
When questioned in the press conference about the recent hospitalisation of British boxer Nick Blackwell after a match with Chris Eubank Jr on March 26 the panel declined to comment, only wishing Blackwell a full recovery.
But Haskins told ITV West he was “surprised” by the decision not to stop the fight:
“If it was my call I would have stopped it or chucked the towel in,” he said outside the press conference.
Haskins’ title defence will take place in Cardiff’s new Ice Arena Wales and will be televised live on Channel 5.