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Haskins Crowned World Champion

Lee Haskins has been crowned IBF World Bantamweight champion following a 6th round stoppage of Japan’s Ryosuke Iwasa in Bristol tonight.

The ‘Playboy’ predicted the fight wouldn't go the distance, and so it proved, the referee stepping in and stopping the fight after Iwasa had been backed into the corner, having just gotten to his feet from the first knockdown of the bout.

Haskins was made to wait for his shot at the World Title, despite an impressive 12 year career record of 30 wins and just 3 defeats, and the Bristolian certainly made the most of his opportunity.

Roared on by the partisan home crowd at a packed Action Indoor Sports Arena in South Bristol, the 32 year-old began the fight at a breakneck pace, landing several big left-right combos in the opening three rounds to rock the man from Japan.

Surviving the early onslaught, Iwasa regrouped to begin to get a foothold in the fight during the middle rounds with Haskins visibly tiring, landing fewer power shots as his rival controlled the middle of the ring.

Haskins wasn't to be denied. Coming out firing in the sixth round, a huge left hook sent Iwasa to the canvass.

Showing great courage, Iwasa got to his feet on a seven count before the referee stepped in, handing Haskins the interim IBF World Bantamweight championship to the delight of the fans in attendance.

Haskins wasn’t the only Bristolian in action, with the undercard featuring several Bristol-based boxers.

Earlier in the night Darren Hamilton, former British Light-Welterweight champion, comfortably out-boxed his Georgian opponent Mikheil Avakyan, the judge scoring the bout 60-54.

This followed a gritty performance from Josh Baker, fighting with the crest of his beloved Bristol City on his shorts, who had to settle for a draw in a four round welterweight contest.

The night however belonged to Haskins, who finally ended his long wait to be crowned World Champion in emphatic style.

The next challenge for the southpaw will be to successfully defend the title he has worked so tirelessly to lift, against currently injured IBF champion, Randy Caballero. After this evening’s showing you’d bet on him to do just that.