BRISTOL’S Lee Haskins has been nominated to box for the IBF Interim World bantamweight title.
Reigning IBF champion Randy Caballero is unable to defend his title after suffering a serious ankle injury in February and is expected to be out of action for between four to six months.
In his absence, IBF chiefs have ordered Haskins to meet Japan’s Ryosuke Iwasa for what is known as the Interim title.
The match between the two highest ranked fighters in the IBF bantamweight ratings will go to purse bids if the two camps are unable to agree a deal by April 17 and the fight is expected to be staged in June or July this year.
Promoter Jamie Sanigar explained: “The IBF cannot have a situation where they have to wait indefinitely for Caballero to get fit again. In this situation, they take the highest ranked boxers and get them to contest what they call the ‘Interim’ title.
“Our man Lee Haskins and Iwasa are the highest ranked bantamweights and they have been ordered to contest the title. The winner of that fight will either defend against Caballero, or if he decides to go another route, they will keep the title and become the outright champion.”
Sanigar is already in touch with various promoters and believes the fight could be staged in this country.
He said: “We have a few options and we are hopeful this fight could be staged in the UK. We’re talking now and hope to sort something out sooner rather than later.”
Haskins recently won the European title for the second time in his career and, at 33 years of age, is desperate for a shot at a version of the world title.
He would prefer to meet Iwasa in the UK, but has expressed a willingness to travel to Japan if needs be.