Will he get the fights he craves or will fighters continue avoiding Lee Selby?

Mark Davies

Mark is from Gwent, Wales. He covers the South of Wales boxing scene. He attends ringside events for Ringnews24 and enjoys interviewing upcoming boxers from Wales.

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Lee Selby (25-1, 9 KOs) , 30 years old and fighting out of Barry, Wales. Selby has a record of 25 wins and 1 loss. The single defeat coming to Samir Mouneimne in Selby’s fifth fight. Rather than letting the defeat prove to be an early set back he has risen to become the star of Welsh boxing. Selby has amassed the British, Commonwealth, European and world titles.

IBF world featherweight champion Lee Selby prepares to make a fourth defence of his title against the undefeated Mexican Eduardo Ramirez (20-0-3, 7KOs) at the Copper Box in London on Saturday 9th December .

The fight against the Mexican Ramirez will be Selby’s third of the year. Selby stopped Adoni Gago in round nine in March. The second fight of 2017 took place against Jonathan Victor Barros in July. Selby winning an unanimous points and flooring the Argentine in the process.

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The heartbreak in 2017 for Selby began in January in Las Vegas. Selby was due to defend his IBF featherweight world title in Las Vegas against Jonathan Victor Barros on the undercard of Carl Frampton WBA featherweight title bout with Leo Santa Cruz. The stage was set for Selby to shine at the Mecca of boxing, the MGM Grand. All of this was taken away from Selby just over 24 hours before the fight was due to take place as it was announced on stage before the weigh in that fight would not place with the Nevada Athletic Commission simply stating that the Barros had not met its requirements. The plan for Selby was to take on the winner of the Frampton – Santa Cruz for a career defining fight that would have seen the winner sit at the top of featherweight boxing.

The fight against Jonathan Victor Barros was rearranged for July 15th in London. Only 4 days previously Selby’s mother passed away. Selby heroically defied the odds in the most testing times by not only continuing with the fight but successfully defending his world title with an unanimous points win. The heartbreak for Selby in 2017 unfortunately followed with the passing of his grandad.

Despite all that has happened in 2017 Selby has remained focused and the elusive ‘big name’ opponent he has been seeking should come in 2018. This is not to say that Selby has not been taking Eduardo Ramirez lightly. Defeat to Ramirez would cause Selby a setback he could not afford to take. It is refreshing to hear that Selby has spoken of being solely focused on Ramirez. Selby stating that the southpaw Ramirez being undefeated and highly ranked by the IBF means the respect will be there from Selby. This will be the first time Selby will fight on BT Sport and will be keen to showcase his skills to this new audience.

It is impossible to mention Lee Selby without bringing up the names Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton. Scott Quigg is another name but with Selby, Warrington and Frampton all working with Frank Warren these fights should be easier to make than the Quigg fight. A fight with England’s Josh Warrington (26-0, 6 Kos) will be the biggest fight of both boxer’s careers. Warrington as a mandatory will be next for Selby if he is successful against Ramirez. This fight will likely be in Leeds but with Selby not fighting in his home country since 2014 some would say he is overdue a return. The Welsh crowd would want the opportunity to see their best boxer defend his world title on home soil.

A fight with Northern Ireland’s former WBA titleholder Carl Frampton (24-1, 14 KOs) would be the most prestigious fight for Selby. Frampton will be targeting another world title shot in 2018 after losing the WBA belt to Mexico’s Leo Santa Cruz. Selby believes Frampton’s best chance of a title shot will be against himself. Selby would even be willing for the fight to take place in Belfast. Relishing the prospect of a fight in Belfast as Selby will be the underdog and all the pressure will be on Frampton.

If Selby was to get his dream fights of both Warrington and Frampton and beat them, then a unification fight with the other world champions in America would complete a perfect 2018.

The dream fights will not come if Selby is defeated on the 9th December by Ramirez. Selby isn’t looking past Ramirez and if he passes this test then 2018 could well be the best year of his boxing career and one that defines his legacy.


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