Boxing

Golovkin vs Brook: Lee Haskins Beats Stuart Hall in Unanimous Decision to Retain IBF World Title

The Bristol fighter made the stronger start on Saturday but as the fight went on, most of the The O2 crowd knew it was heading to the judges, although few could have expected such a one-sided scorecard.

Haskins (34-3-KO14) kept hold of the belt Hall used to hold, but the 115-113, 117-111, 116-112 scoring was wider than many thought after a fight of two halves, with the champion starting well only for his challenger to come right back in the latter period.

The blue bantamweight touch paper was lit four years ago when they first met but with age and experience and the small matter of a world title on the line in this rematch, neither came charging out on opening bell.

A typically cautious start saw them trade single shots, but soon Haskins’ left down the pipe and Hall’s right as he lunged forward trying to break through, suggested the unfriendly flames were going to spark into life.

Yet with neither bantamweight known for his knockout power, the current champion looked far more confident, standing just out of range. Throughout the second and third rounds, he managed to pick Hall off, his right the best weapon on show.

That seemed to frustrate the former IBF champion and by the fourth, he struggled to get into position and draw Haskins into the battle he so clearly wanted. If any anxiety didn’t help Hall, neither did the continued counter punching.

‘The Playboy’ was so comfortable that by the fifth, he had dropped his hands and was still and landing single shots on his way back out, two left hooks in particular suggesting that he was heading for the same success from their first meeting back in 2012.

But Hall’s trainer Paddy Lynch read the riot act at the end of the round and his fighter’s response in the sixth saw him have his best round of the contest, his right finally being thrown and finding its taget.

It did bring them bith closer – physically if not emotionally – and all of a sudden the bout burst into life in the seventh and especially the eighth. Hall finally had Haskins trapped in a corner and several shots landed but just as importantly, the champion seemed to have tired for the first time.

Hall kept surging forward, Haskins still trying to stay out of range but by the end of the ninth, the momentum had certainly shifted and it was no real surprise in the 10th when Hall caught Haskins with a cracking straight right that could easily have won another close round.

The two final, crucial rounds were similar again, the challenger putting the pressure on yet perhaps a couple of classic counters in the towards the end showed that Haskins had already done enough to remain the IBF champion.

Source: skysports

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