Welsh boxer Lee Selby put in a dominant, emotional defence of his IBF World Featherweight Title last night, only a few days after the death of his mother. Selby was another class above to his opponent, ex WBA World Featherweight Champion, Jonathan Victor Barros and won the fight comfortably on points, after 12 rounds. His South American opponent, was a willing opponent but was just totally outclassed throughout the fight, with Selby’s movement and boxing skills shining through.
Back in January, Selby was due to fight Barros in Las Vegas on the undercard of the Carl Frampton versus Leo Santa Cruz fight. The plan being that Selby if successful in that fight would then fight the winner of the Frampton, Santa Cruz bout. This was the opportunity that Selby craved, an opportunity to put his skills against the very best, something he desperately needs. Unfortunately, his fight was cancelled due to a Barros injury, and then Frampton and Santa Cruz went onto a three fight trilogy of great fights with Selby in particular, being the loser.
“The Welsh Mayweather” as he is nicknamed is a very classy fighter, his movement and accuracy are very good, he has great head movement and feints, gets him into range and has a very good jab. The Barry born fighter has to date beaten some genuine talented fighters such as Evgeny Gradovich, who he defeated in May 2015 to win the title, the British fighter, Stephen Smith, American Eric Hunter and Mexican challenger and previously 4 times World Champion at 3 different weight classes, Fernando Montiel. What Selby needs now is to move to the next level to propel his career, just to see how far he can go.
At ringside last night in London, was WBA Champion, Carl Frampton, and there is some talk of Selby and Frampton having a fight later in the year or early 2018. If this did materialise, this could be a fantastic fight. Both are outstanding boxers and would love to see this fight. However, if this did not occur, there are other really strong fights at the Featherweight weight limit for Selby and his management team to look for.
Some of these include American Gary Russell Junior, Mexicans, Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares. If these do not come off, then an option to fighter a fellow British fighter to raise Selby’s profile and to get interest from the public, such as Scott Quigg or Josh Warrington could generate revenue and again put Selby front and centre in people’s minds and put pressure on the big names in this division to fight him.
These are important six months coming up for Lee Selby, he needs now to get the big fights, he has the ability to compete at that level, and I hope we get the opportunity to see this happen. Twenty six fights into his professional career and a defending World Champion, now is his time.