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Lee Haskins: Ryan Burnett is not on Carl Frampton's level

Lee Haskins has warned Ryan Burnett he has a "long way to go" before he can be compared to Carl Frampton.

The IBF bantamweight champion also believes that even after defeating his challenger he may still not receive the respect he deserves.

Haskins makes the third defence of his title on Saturday at Belfast's Odyssey Arena in the knowledge the promising Burnett, 25, is the home fighter attracting significant hype.

The 33-year-old has long been overlooked despite winning multiple titles and defeating his domestic rivals, and should a victory over Burnett prove the finest of a successful career the likelihood is it will come amid observations of his awkward style.

Burnett is seen as Northern Ireland's eventual successor to Frampton and can also emulate Wayne McCullough, another of Belfast's champions, by winning a world title in his 17th fight.

Haskins told Press Association Sport: "He's got a long, long way to go to be Frampton, that's for sure.

"Frampton's one of my favourite fighters of the moment, and I've got a lot of respect for him.

"Of what I've seen of him, he's a good fighter. Where can he go? Who knows? We're going to find out on Saturday night if he becomes world champion.

"I know I'm ready to do my best, I'm feeling great and I'm real confident to do the job.

"It's a 50-50 fight. I'm ready to give it my all and I'm ready to win. I believe I'm a world champion through and through."

Asked if he felt he was destined to never truly receive the credit his success justifies, he then responded: "Yeah, probably. But as long as I'm making money to provide for my family, that's the only thing I care about.

"Putting clothes on their back and nice food in the fridge, I'm done.

"With my luck in boxing, I'd probably knock him out and they'd say he tripped and fell. It's one of those ones.

"I've done more than most British fighters out there - won everything in my career. British, European, Commonwealth (titles), English title, and I've done it all twice."

Owing to a fear of flying, Haskins and his family took the ferry to Belfast having previously flown to Monte Carlo and Las Vegas for previous fights.

"I thought it'd be a bit of a trip for the kids, a bit more fun," he told Press Association Sport. "We took a ferry, I'm not too keen on flying as well.

"I fly quite a lot, to Vegas and for holidays, but if I haven't got to do it, then I take a ferry, and the kids wanted to take a boat. I flew here for the last press conference.

"I flew to Vegas to fight, it doesn't bother me that much, but if I don't have to do it, I'll try something different."


From Belfast Telegraph