Lee Haskins is very confident ahead of his European bantamweight title fight with Stuart Hall on Saturday. (Photo by Andrew Heard Photography)
I've been a contributor at Bad Left Hook since January, and until now I've not done what I really wanted to do.
I've just left university and I want to work within sports media in the UK, covering my favourite sports which includes boxing. I've completed some general news stories and an opinion piece but now I've finished my degree I'd like to get out and about into the gyms across the UK.
Despite living nowhere near Bristol, I got in touch with the Bristol Gym, home to Lee Selby, Lee Haskins and Jamie Arthur to name a few. With Lee Haskins fighting on the Tyson Fury undercard this Saturday, what better opportunity to get myself out there than speak to Lee?
With late notice I was unable to travel to Bristol, but Lee and the guys at West Country Gym were kind enough to let me speak to Lee, so a big thanks to them, especially Jamie Sanigar.
As you're about to read, Lee is very confident of a win against Stuart Hall this Saturday. As well as some regular pre-fight questions, I thought I'd ask Lee some random questions so those who don't know much about him can get an idea of who he is.A week now until the fight, how are you feeling and how has the camp gone?
"Definitely looking forward to the fight, just anxious and ready to get in there and make all the hard work pay off, which I've been enjoying. The camp has gone brilliantly, you know, I couldn't have asked for it to go any better. We've been training for months and months, not just for this fight but for other fights that were supposed to happen. I've had no problems, no injuries and I'm raring to go."
What will the final week of the camp involve??
"From now just winding down really and chilling out and looking forward to the Saturday fight. My camp is confident and so am I, we're just looking forward to the victory."
You were due to face Stephane Jamoye, how did his pulling out effect you?
"I just like to fight, I'll fight anybody in the game. Just makes you think ,why do they do it (pull out)? Especially when there's a big title on the line. To get Stuart Hall instead of Jamoye is a better fight for me."
Although you're fighting just down the road, how disappointed were you to find out that a fight in Bristol couldn't be made?
"It wasn't that bad to be honest, because I think most of Bristol are coming. It's going to be rammed to be honest."
You're fighting on the same bill as two fighters in the press at the moment (Tyson Fury & Chris Eubank Jr) and on terrestrial TV. Is that a big advantage, especially with trying to push for the world title?
"That's what I'm looking for and yeah, I think it helps. I'm just looking to show everybody how good of a performance I'm going to put on and what great shape I'm in. After that we're looking for a world title shot after another fight or maybe a world title shot straight after. To be on the show with Tyson Fury and Chris Eubank Jr is going to be great exposure."
Should you win on Saturday, you'll become the first man from Bristol to win the European belt. Is that on your mind, and how proud will that make you feel?
"I've thought about it and it would be good to come back to Bristol with the European belt. I believe 100% the fight won't be a problem for me if I'm honest."
Stuart Hall is obviously looking to prove himself again, and I've seen you're very confident. Do you feel he will give you any problems at all?
"I'm 100% confident ahead of the fight and I think Stuart Hall is a one-trick pony and that's it, to be honest. I don't think he can do anything, comes forward at a slow pace and jab. That's exactly what we want and that's what we've trained for and the plan is to let him come on and walk onto some sweet nice shots. I think the shots I'm going to catch him with are going to put him out of the game."
You last fought in October, have you been training longer or made any adjustments to camp to accommodate this?
"We try and change it all the time and add different things to each camp. I'm just getting fitter, stronger and faster and right now I'm 110%."
You last boxed at Super-flyweight, with these extra pounds at bantamweight do you feel stronger and what is your preferred weight?
"I think I would prefer to fight at bantamweight but if I have to go down to super-fly then it doesn't bother me, I can make two weights. I wouldn't mind to fight at super-bantamweight but who knows."
Prediction for the fight?
"I'm definitely thinking after round five onwards for a stoppage. That's what I'm looking at
Toughest opponent faced?
"Definitely the first defeat against Munyai, I'll take nothing away from him. I couldn't make bantamweight and trained for two weeks and I remember losing three or four pounds on the day of the weigh-in. I drove down to London in a sweat suit and sleeping bag and spitting in a cup to make the weight. He beat me and that's that."
How did you find the Prizefighter experience?
"It was wicked and over three rounds it was explosive. I've always wanted to try it and have three fights in one night, it's quite a big thing and I enjoyed every moment of it."
How hard was it to come back from those two defeats for the British belt early on in your career?
"With both of them it wasn't too hard to come back, because I believe I lost to myself. Either I wasn't ready or something. I won my first 15 in a row and then stopped training really, I was always out with my mates and stuff. I've learned my lesson and I haven't lost since and I can do a lot more now."
If you could fight anywhere in the world where would it be?
"It's gotta be Vegas hasn't it? (MGM Grand?) Yeah, the MGM would be a treat."
What do you do in your spare time?
"I'm a family man and I love spending time with my kids and that's the main thing. Stuart Hall has to get stopped and I've spent a lot of time away from my family and not done stuff with them so I need to treat them."