Lee Haskins in the frame for WBC World Cup spot
Bristol fighter Lee Haskins will almost certainly be handed a quicker-than-expected opportunity to take on the world's best bantamweights.
Crowned European champion after he outclassed Stuart Hall at the Hand Arena in Clevedon at the weekend, the 29-year-old Lockleaze-based southpaw has been nominated to compete in the inaugural World Boxing Council World Cup event later this year.
WBC officials are proposing to take the best 8st 6lb fighters from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North and South America and match them in a round-robin tournament to be staged over a nine-month period. The first Bristolian to win a coveted European title, Haskins has been nominated by the European Boxing Union after being put forward by his promoter and manager, Chris Sanigar. Although the former British and Commonwealth super flyweight champion's ultimate ambition is to box for a version of the world title, he will relish the opportunity to campaign at elite level in the WBC World Cup.
Sanigar said: "The competition is still in the planning phase, but the WBC are committed to getting it on and it looks like it will happen.
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"We should know if Lee Haskins is going to be involved later this summer. But he is the reigning European champion and I cannot see them going for anyone else."