News May 2019

Joe Selkirk: Heffron will bring out the best in me


By @shaun_brown

Maybe, just maybe, we will begin to see the very best of Joe Selkirk 11-0 (5 KOs) when he takes on Oldham's Ronnie Heffron 14-1 (5 KOs) at the Echo Arena, Liverpool on Dec 7.

In a fascinating North-West England battle, Selkirk will aim to put periods of frustration, inactivity and injury behind him as he looks to win his first professional title when he and Heffron, 23, fight for the vacant WBO European Light Middleweight belt live on Boxnation.

As soon as Selkirk vs. Heffron was announced, the label of Ďgood trade fightí was immediately thrust upon it and itís easy to see why. Style will clash with aggression and the 28-year-old Selkirk hopes an opponent as tough as Heffron will bring out the potential that has him pegged as one of Liverpoolís brightest, yet unrealised talents.

ďItís a massive fight and a massive opportunity for me,Ē Selkirk told Live Fight from
his training camp in Lanzarote.

ďThese are the type of fights Iíve been wanting and Iíve been held back because of my injuries. Hopefully after this fight I can push on, get more fights and win titles.Ē

And Selkirk is certain of what type of fight heís in for next month.

ďItís going to be a tough fight but Iím confident that if Iím fit I can make it a lot easier for me. Ronnieís good, heís game, heís fit and obviously heís going to come to win. He will probably be the best fighter Iíve fought so far and Iím hoping heíll bring the best out of me. I know heís going to come to fight because Ronnie can only fight one way. I think heíll get himself knocked out. I canít wait for it to be honest.Ē

During a Boxnation post-fight interview last time out, Selkirk cut a despondent and depressed figure on the ring apron after a lacklustre six-round pointsí victory against the then 5-17-1 Kieron Gray. Selkirk had been pencilled in to face Gary ĎSpikeí OíSullivan a couple of months beforehand but that particular bout fell through. (OíSullivan went on to fight and lose against Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO International Middleweight title.) His performance against Gray left him feeling as colourful as his opponentís surname.

ďI wasnít pissed off with myself I was pissed off that I didnít perform that well,Ē said Selkirk.

ďThereís always been a lot of expectation around me. I wanted to put a performance on and I didnít really do it but I believe that the better opponent I fight the more itíll bring out of me. If guys are wanting to come and fight me and test me then thatís when youíll see the best of me.Ē

The 154lb division in Britain could do with a Joe Selkirk firing on all cylinders. Brian Rose leads the way after a pulsating and perhaps unexpected victory in a WBO World Title eliminator over the much favoured Javier Maciel a couple of weeks ago. The chasing pack is headed by Selkirkís fellow Liverpudlain, Liam ĎBeefyí Smith.

ďLiam is [British] champion and one of my best mates so itís a bit awkward with him really [being in the same division]. But weíre both good enough to go our separate ways. Thereís also Jamie Cox out there too so thereís good fights to be made for me.Ē

And what did he make of Roseís performance against Maciel?

ďBrian Rose could probably out-box most people he faces. Iíd never seen any of his opponent, all I knew is that he was a big puncher. Ability wise I thought Brian would be better than him. If he [Maciel] got through then I thought he may hurt Brian, because Brianís been hurt a couple of times in the past. Brian showed a lot of balls and heart in that fight and did the better boxing, overall, I thought.Ē

A fight with Rose is out of the picture for the time being but that doesnít matter to Selkirk right now. What does matter is fighting regularly and making ground on the leading contenders at light middleweight and ensuring that the hand injuries which have blighted his career are a thing of the past. Selkirk admitted he has thought about walking away from the sport but like most fightersí, what can pull you out of that hole is having the right team around you.

When asked, Selkirk struggled to think of any highs during his five-year stint, so far, as a professional.

ďItís been more frustration, to be honest, with the hand injuries and other little injuries. I canít describe the stress itís brought to be honest, you wouldnít believe some of the bad luck Iíve had.

ďIíve thought about packing it in but itís more in anger really. When Iím frustrated Iíll say ĎIím not fighting no more, Iím shit and Iím packing it iní. Then after a week I speak to the people around me and I see it doesnít make sense to pack it in. I look back at where I started and the goals I had and I havenít reached them yet. So if I can keep looking towards them and keep doing my best then I know I can realise my potential. Itís just about getting past all the frustrating bits.Ē

Having his camp in Lanzarote and at Matthew Macklinís MGM Gym in Marbella (which he says heíll be using more of this year) allows Selkirk to be away from home town distractions.

ďItís better to be out the way of everything. I prefer to stay away when Iíve got a fight coming up,Ē Selkirk admitted.

ďIt can be hard when youíre back home because of little things like your girlfriend and your family. My mind can relax a little bit sometimes, I can go off the rails and go on the ale a bit. I donít go out no more though. I concentrate on just boxing now and even though it hasnít worked out for me yet hopefully this year and next it can.Ē

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