By Jake Donovan

It took a considerable financial investment to make it happen, but the ordered bantamweight title fight between Lee Haskins and Ryosuke Iwasa has a date and a home. 

A purse bid hearing was avoided when the two camps were able to work out terms for their upcoming clash, which lands on June 13 in Haskins' hometown of Bristol, England.

The bout will be televised on free-to-air Channel 5 in the United Kingdom.

“It’s amazing to finally land this world title shot,” said Haskins (31-3, 13KOs) upon learning that terms were reached for his first shot at a major belt. 

The bout was ordered by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) in a rare case of the sanctioning body approving an interim title fight. Such practice has sadly become commonplace with some of the other alphabets, but the IBF reserves its use for emergency situations when its recognized champion is physically unable to defend.

Randy Caballero is the recognized IBF bantamweight titlist. However, an ankle injury forced the California native out of a title defense earlier this year, which was scheduled to take place at home. He will be first in line to fight the winner of Haskins-Iwasa once able to return to the ring.

The fight was ordered in March, with the two sides feverishly working in order to hammer out a deal. Once Haskins' side was able to secure the backing of terrestrial network coverage, a more convincing case was made to bring the fight to the U.K.

“It's fantastic that Channel 5 have helped deliver this opportunity for Lee on free-to-view, terrestrial television. It gives him a great platform and some great exposure,” acknowledges Mick Hennessy, Haskins' promoter. “For us and Channel 5 it's vitally important that world championship boxing finds a regular home on terrestrial television, free of charge.

“This is a major opportunity for Lee Haskins and one he has been chasing for a number of years now. He has more than paid his dues at the top of the bantamweight division and has beaten a number of quality operators throughout his career.

Both Haskins and Iwasa (19-1, 12KOs) fights for their first major title. 

Iwasa comes in on the heels of an 11-fight win streak as he fights for the first time outside of Japan. The lone loss of his career came at the hands of Shinsuke Yamanaka back when both were in their salad-eating days as rising prospects. Yamanaka went on to win a title and currently serves as the de facto bantamweight king. 

Haskins has won five in a row since suffering an 8th round knockout loss to Stephane Jamoye in Dec. '12, on the road in Belgium. Jamoye went on to challenge for a title, suffering a knockout loss of his own to Yamanaka. 

The fact that his conqueror received a title shot was understandable to Haskins; not so much when it came to the likes of countrymen Stuart Hall and Jamie McDonnell, both of whom he's previously outpointed. 

“At times I thought it would never come - when other British fighters I had beaten got their chances,” admits HaskinsAnd when the IBF announced I was to fight Ryosuke Iwasa, a Japanese fighter, I presumed we would probably have to travel to Japan. 

But massive thanks to promoter Mick Hennessy and my manager Chris Sanigar for bringing this world title to my hometown of Bristol. I know this is going to be a tough fight, but I’ve never lost in Bristol and, with that massive West Country support behind me, we can make history on June 13.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Twitter: @JakeNDaBox