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Author Topic: Goodbye Britain, Hello World: Lee Selby talks to Livefight  (Read 428 times)
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« on: October 03, 2013, 11:04:46 AM »

“It feels good, you can’t get a better boxing compliment.”

Lee Selby 16-1 (6 KOs) chuckled when Livefight asked him last month about being described as the ‘Welsh Mayweather’ by his promoter Eddie Hearn.

The 26-year-old carries very un-British swagger when he makes that uniquely lonesome walk from the dressing room to the squared circle on fight night. Hip-hop ‘choonz’ can be heard blasting in the background and 16 times out of 17 Selby has strutted his way to wins, now he stands on the cusp of saying ‘goodbye Britain, hello world’ if it’s business as usual this Saturday night inside London’s O2 Arena. Ryan Walsh, who possesses an almost identical record of 16-1 (8 KOs) to Selby’s is the obstacle that stands between the British and Commonwealth featherweight champion and the night and day of world and domestic level.

“He comes from a good boxing family full of good fighters, it’s a big opportunity for him so I expect him to be at his best. He’s a tough fighter but in the past I was the inexperienced guy going into title fights but now I can show my experience against someone like him. I’m the one now with title defences and title fights and that will show on the night,” said Selby when assessing Walsh’s chances.

One more win for Selby and that Lonsdale belt will be his to keep and his Commonwealth title can be chased by a distant pack of 126lb fighters in the UK that he believes present no more challenge to him.

“There’s not that much competition left really and with all due respect I think I’ve pushed on ahead of the rest now,” said Selby.

After his defeat of Viorel Simion, another 16-1 fighter, Selby would take the number seven spot in the WBC rankings from the Romanian due to his reward of the WBC International Featherweight title that he won on Matchroom Boxing’s first outdoor show in Hull. The big prize of the legitimate green belt changed hands recently with the evergreen Jhonny Gonzalez thumping Abner Mares in one round to become the fully fledged champion. Selby isn’t shouting from the valleys for men like these just yet but he knows that day isn’t too far away.

“Right now I think I could go in there and hold my own with any of them,” said Selby when asked about fighters of that ilk.

“I think I’m a few fights away from those guys in all honesty though. I’d hold my own with any of them as I said but that’s not enough, I don’t want to go in and just put in a good performance, I want to go in and win a world title and defend it.”

For now, Mexico’s finest can wait but there is one man who Selby is targeting and would love to use him as his showcase to the American public.

“I’d love to box over there especially against that Gary Russell Jr. I’d get decent credit if I beat someone like that. I’d like that fight now or when he’s got a title or something. I’ve watched him, he’s decent but I’m twice the size of him. It’s a fight I’d like and a fight I’d win too.”

Selby, however, remains fully aware as to how strong the world’s top ten are at featherweight.

“Every one of them is a dangerous fighter. The British scene, there’s not much about but the top ten in the world is highly competitive and even those that aren’t world champions could be on any given night. I’ll fight whoever’s in front of me - I just want to prove myself.”

Selby is enjoying his work right now but did admit that we haven’t seen what he can fully do on fight night. He’s thrilled to have the backing of Matchroom and the exposure given by Sky Sports but is slightly frustrated at not being able to carry his form in sparring in to the fights that really matter.

“There’s a lot, lot more to come from me,” said Selby.

“In sparring sessions, if you saw me in the gym, you would see I’m a totally different fighter. I’m not as half as good in the ring as I am in sparring so I’ve got to learn to take that into the ring. Hopefully that will come with experience and a few more fights and then I can move up to that level I need to be at.

“When I boxed Martin Lindsay [in February] that was a bit more like me in the gym. Honestly, I’m not only sparring with featherweights but with light heavyweights too and I’m pushing them back. If I could take that into the ring I’d be a world champion without doubt.”

The man with the pencil ‘tash cuts a confident figure when it gets down to the nitty gritty. Talking the talk or walking the walk, Selby is a smooth operator and potentially one of Britain’s finest fighters of this century but outside the ring there is proof that Lee Selby the boxer is something of an alter-ego as he explained to LF.

“Usually I’m quite quiet with myself. I don’t carry that swagger! I have self-belief outside the sport but I don’t show it, it is there outside the ring but when I’m walking to the ring itself something else comes over me, something happens I get goose-bumps, I can’t explain the feeling except it’s an amazing one.”
« on: October 03, 2013, 11:04:46 AM »

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