Lee Haskins is today in England, possessor of a shiny belt, the bantamweight belt made by the IBF. He got it from Randy Caballero, not in the ring, but in a room, after Caballero was stripped of it, for being grossly over the weight.
Strange way to "win" a title, sure,... but anyway. Now Haskins looks forward. He'll need a dance partner to rumble with, in his first defense.
There is a volunteer...Nikolay Potapov; the rugged Russian last gloved up Oct. 29, snagging a win in Brooklyn, on a show promoted by Dmitriy Salita.
His record stands at 14-0; Salita tells us his kid is ready to rock, and challenge for a crown.
"Haskins vs. Potapov is an interesting fight between two very skilled fighters from different parts of the world," Salita said.
Potapov (has 6 Kos; from Russia) weighed in: "I had a great time fighting in Brooklyn, NY in front of NYC fans and can't wait to come back for bigger and bigger fights. I love challenging myself and want to fight the best fighters in the world. I am ready and will show my skills on the big stage against the best names in the division!"
Said Salita: "Nikolay is an exceptional talent with a great amateur career, and very accomplished as a pro. Nikolay really knows how to fight well! I believe he is one of the most talented fighters in the division. He wants to fight the best fighters and biggest names. He is focused, hungry to challenge the best and will be a world champion when he gets his shot. He would have been watching the fight very closely this weekend!But he's been watching tape of Haskins, and knows he can beat him...and has a passport, is ready to travel, ready to come to England, and take that belt from him!"
Haskins (age 31; 32-3 with 14 KOs) is a lefty, and he wants to give his rooters, especially those who flew to Vegas and were bummed when the fight was cancelled the day before the event, something to cheer.
We can presume he wants to glove up quickly, and give 'em a show. Potapov is in shape, ready to rock, says Salita.