Bristol boxer Lee Haskins handed unexpected shot at a title fight
LEE Haskins aims to become the first Bristolian boxer to win a European championship belt when he takes on Belgian Stephane Jamoye for the vacant EBU bantamweight crown in the summer.
British flyweight boss Haskins has been handed an unexpected opportunity to further build his impressive CV after fellow Briton Jamie McDonnell relinquished the title.
Mc Donnell, who lost to Haskins in a British title eliminator four years ago, has given up the EBU crown to chase a world title shot and the European Boxing Union have ordered Haskins to meet Jamoye. The fight will go out to purse bids and Bristol-based promoter and manager Chris Sanigar hopes to negotiate home advantage for his 27-year-old fighter, who has been marking time during the winter. The deadline for purse bids is May 21 and Bristol Boxing representative Jamie Sanigar said: "We will do everything possible to ensure the fight is staged in this country.
"Obviously finding a venue in Bristol is going to be difficult – it has been a nightmare for the past 20 years – but we are confident we can at least give Lee home advantage somewhere in the UK."
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McDonnell recently defeated Jamoye on points and Sanigar said: "The formbook suggests this is a fight our man can win.
"Lee beat McDonnell a few years back, since when he has improved enormously."
Preparing for a possible June date, Haskins said: "This is great news for me. I have been ticking over and waiting patiently for a long time now and it is good to finally have a fight to focus on.
"I don't know too much about Jamoye, but I'm not worried about him. I'm confident I can get the business done and, hopefully, winning the EBU title will hep me land a shot at the world title."
He added: "Glenn Catley twice fought for the European title and lost both times and no Bristolian has ever won it. That motivates me and I am determined to win this.
"It would be nice to box in this country, but I'm really not too worried about that. I have become used to having to travel and it holds no fears."
Jamoye is rated number eight, one place ahead of Haskins, in the latest WBC rankings.