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Lee Haskins-Sergio Perales IBF Bantamweight Eliminator

Already a fantastic show, the bill for Stuart Hall’s world title fight clash with Paul Butler just got even more exciting with news that Bristol’s Lee Haskins will fight top-rated American Sergio Perales in an IBF world bantamweight title eliminator on the undercard.

Darlington’s Hall makes the second defence of his IBF world bantamweight crown against Ellesmere Port’s Butler at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena on June 7, and both men are promising a war as their mutual dislike for each other threatens to boil over.

Now, with a supporting cast that includes Birtley’s Jon-Lewis Dickinson in a winner-takes-all encounter with hard-hitting Commonwealth king Ovill Mckenzie, the addition of Haskins against Perales is more great news for fight-fans with less than two weeks to go before first bell.

“We’re very excited,” explained Chris Sanigar, Lee’s manager and trainer.  “Haskins has been in big fights throughout his career but without a doubt this is the biggest.  We’re looking forward to coming up there and doing a good job.”

Ranked in the world’s top-five, with just two defeats in 26 fights, Perales is the dangerous Texan who has knocked out 16 of his 24 opponents, with 12 wins inside the first four rounds.  Not new to these shores, the American lost a close decision to Hall in 2013, with ‘Stuey’ describing him as the hardest puncher he had ever faced.

South-West stylist Haskins, who holds wins over Hall and former world champ Jamie McDonnell, knows he will be in for a tough night.  The former British and European bantamweight king has lost only three of 32 fights, but will hope his hands-down, unconventional style can thwart Perales to land him a future shot at either Hall, Butler or [mandatory challenger] Randy Caballero.

“We’re expecting a very tough fight.  Haskins is very elusive and picks his shots, but Perales' style should suit us,” stated Sanigar.

“I think Stuart Hall will win [against Butler].  I think he’s improved since he’s become champion.  I watched him win the title against Vusi Malinga and was thrilled at how strong he came on at the end, he boxed very well.  I think he’ll scrape through because I don’t think Butler has been in the fights Stuart has, and I think experience will see him through.

“All three of them [Hall, Butler, Caballero] are very good boxers and it would be tough against all of them.  But if our man is on song then I would pick Haskins to beat all three of them in very highly-contested fights.  They’ll be close and any one of them would be a great fight, but I see our man edging it.”

Stuart Hall defends his IBF world bantamweight title against Paul Butler at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena on June 7. The undercard for the show features Bristol’s Lee Haskins in an IBF world bantamweight title eliminator against Sergio Perales.

Also appearing will be Birtley’s British cruiserweight champion Jon-Lewis Dickinson taking on Commonwealth ruler Ovill McKenzie; Guisborough’s Josh Leather; Sedgefield’s Bradley Saunders; County Durham’s Thomas Patrick Ward; Doncaster’s Dave Allen and Jason Cunningham; Sunderland’s Jordan King; Wales’ Rhys Evans, and Northumberland’s Lewis Scott.

Tickets priced at £40, £60, £75, £150 and VIP £200 are available via Box Office 0844 493 6666 (VIP Packages 0114 243 4443) or from dennishobson.com

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