18
Sep
2020

Haskins cements title status with Morales win: Selby makes history

Phil Jay 15/05/2016

Sophie Merlo

Bristol’s Lee Haskins saw off a talented challenger in Ivan Morales on Saturday night to keep a firm grip on his IBF bantamweight title at the Ice Arena in Cardiff, Wales.

The 32 year-old made a successful first defence of the belt he was handed by default when Randy Caballero failed to make weight for their scheduled clash, and can now call himself a fully-fledged world champion.

Haskins beat Morales to the punch for the majority of the bout and was just too good for the Mexican youngster, who is the brother of former great and multi-weight world title holder Erik ‘’El Terrible’ Morales.

After a pulsating twelve rounds, Haskins was handed the decision 119-108 by one judge, whilst the other two officials both scored the fight 118-110 as the home fighter improved to 33-3.

Morales drops only the second loss of a 31-fight career and has now lost two of his last three outings following a shock defeat to Edgar Jimenez in August of last year.

haskins merlo2

In the co-feature, Craig Kennedy picked himself up off the canvas in the second and sixth sessions to eventually overcome Joel Djeko and claim a fringe IBF cruiserweight belt.

The Cardiff man scraped through 95-93 on two cards despite the knockdowns to take his C.V to 15-0, whist a third saw it 95-93 to Djeko.

kennedy craig merlo1

Also on the bill, Andrew Selby was crowned British flyweight champion in just his fifth pro fight, breaking the record for the fastest Lonsdale Belt claimed by a Welsh boxer.

The 27 year-old amateur standout out-pointed Louis Norman handily over twelve rounds as Selby continues his speedy progress up the rankings.

selby andrew merlo2

In the surprise of the night, Paddy Gallagher ended Tony Dixon’s undefeated record with a first round stoppage to claim the vacant Celtic welterweight belt, whilst Josh Taylor, Conrad Cummings, Mitch Buckland, Nathan Thorley and Morgan Jones all stayed unbeaten on the night.

Follow photographer Sophie Merlo on Twitter @Bristol_Tog