Haskins plans to beat Iwasa and put Bristol back on the boxing map

2nd June 2015

BRISTOL (2 JUNE) By Lee Haskins: This week is the last really hard week of training and I’m determined to put it all in. After this week I start to taper down and allow my body to repair ahead of my fight against Ryosuke Iwasa on June 13. It’s important to get the balance right; heavy stuff this week and then lighter stuff during fight week. It’s something I’ve done many times before, of course, so I like to think I know what I’m doing by now.

It’s been a great few months for Bristol sport lately. Bristol City Football Club walked League One and will play in the Championship next season, while Bristol Rovers, their big rivals, won at Wembley Stadium a couple of weeks ago to gain promotion back into the Football League from the Conference.

It sounds weird to some people, but I actually support both Bristol teams. I’m there for City and I’m there for Rovers. I never decided to pick one over the other – love one, hate one. That just isn’t how I’ve ever seen it. I’m a Bristol boy, they’re two Bristol clubs, and I want to see them both do well.

I find it kind of strange how fellow Bristolians can love one club and then really hate the other. It seems weird to me when they’re only a stone’s throw apart. My way of thinking is that if you’re from Bristol, you should support Bristol.

Boxing in Bristol is getting bigger all the time. It’s always been a bit of a love or hate sport around here – as it probably is in most cities – but gyms are doing well now and I see a lot of kids coming through. It’s really encouraging.

I watch these kids do their thing in the gym and I get great satisfaction from helping them out and guiding them whenever I can. I really want to win this fight on June 13 for Bristol and for the young kids who aspire to become boxers – it gives them something to aim for, it shows it can be done. If I can win a world title, there’s no reason why the kids in the gym can’t one day do the same. It’s great to be able to lead by example.

I didn’t really know much about boxing when I started out in the sport. And I definitely didn’t know of any boxers from Bristol. It was all new to me. Boxing was just something I wanted to do – it wasn’t a sport I particularly liked to watch or follow.

I know Glenn Catley was a world champion from Bristol, but I didn’t watch any of his fights during the time he was around. I’ve watched his fights since, of course, and I’d love to do the same as Glenn and bring a world title back to Bristol.

Everybody’s talking about the fight in Bristol now and it’s really going down well. It seems everyone is planning on watching the fight, either at the venue or on Channel 5; tickets are selling well and there’s a buzz about the place.

I like fighting in my hometown, and I like fighting in front of my people, but this fight does feel extra special, extra big. It’s the biggest fight of my life. There are more nerves and expectation for this one than any other fight I’ve had. At times it almost feels like it’s too much. But I’m really looking forward to it and I’d rather be fighting in Bristol than Japan, that’s for sure.


*** Lee Haskins and Ryosuke Iwasa fight for the vacant IBF Interim World Bantamweight Title and Bob Ajisafe and Daniel Wanyonyi fight for the vacant Commonwealth light-heavyweight title on June 13 at Bristol’s Action Indoor Sports Arena. For tickets, please contact the Ticketline Box Office on 0844 888 4402 or Sanigar Events on 0117 949 6699 ***

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