Welshman closing in on second World Title
Lee Selby can take a step closer to becoming Wales’ first ever two-weight World Champion when he takes on George Kambosos Jr in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Lightweight World Title on the undercard of Oleksandr Usyk vs. Derek Chisora on Saturday October 31, shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Former IBF Featherweight World Champion Selby (28-2, 9 KOs) made the move up to Lightweight after losing his title to Josh Warrington at Elland Road back in May 2018, and the 33-year-old from Barry has won two in a row at 135lbs, most recently beating Ricky Burns over 12 rounds last October.
Next up for ‘Lightning’ is a scheduled 12-rounder against Australia’s unbeaten contender ‘Ferocious’ Kambosos Jr, who had previously promised to retire Selby in front of his home crowd when they were due to meet at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff back in May.
“On social media he comes across quite outspoken and arrogant,” said Selby. “He’s saying he’s going to do this and do that. To look at him, he looks like a very good fighter. He’s got fast hands; he looks like he can punch. He can box a bit as well; he brings a lot of pressure. He’s young, hungry and ambitious.
“When we did an E-Press Conference earlier in the year he told me that every time he hit me in sparring, he rocked me to my boots. That in itself just gave me extra confidence, knowing that he’s making up tales about sparring.
“You don’t speak to anybody like that. It is disrespectful. To me it’s water off a duck’s back. It doesn’t bother me. I don’t know whether he’s trying to get me to fall into a trap, but that’s just not who I am. I’ve got very thick skin.”
A number of Welshman have had the opportunity to become two-weight World Champions, including Caerphilly’s Robbie Regan and Newport’s Gavin Rees, but Selby is promising to go one better than his countrymen by dethroning Teofimo Lopez when he gets the chance.
“If I come through this fight then I’ll be in another massive World Title fight,” added Selby. “Teofimo Lopez is within touching distance and a dream is close to becoming a reality for me. It will be life-changing for me if I can get through this fight.
“I’ll become the first Welshman to become a two-weight World Champion. All I have to do is win two fights. Two fights and I’ve written my name into the history books. It would not only be massive for Welsh boxing, but British boxing too. You can’t put a price tag on that.
“On October 31 you’re going to see a Lee Selby win, by any means possible, whether the stoppage comes or it’s a 12-round decision – you’ll see a Lee Selby win. I’ve had time to grow into the weight. During lockdown I was doing a lot of strength and conditioning work and I feel like a fully-fledged Lightweight now.”
Selby vs. Kambosos Jr is part of a huge night of boxing as pound-for-pound star Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) faces his first real Heavyweight test in Derek Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs), Heavyweight fan favourite Dave Allen (18-5-2, 15 KOs) returns, Hartlepool’s Savannah Marshall (8-0, 6 KOs) meets Glasgow’s Hannah Rankin (9-4, 2 KOs) for the vacant WBO Middleweight World Title, Belfast’s Tommy McCarthy (16-2, 8 KOs) meets Belgium’s Bilal Laggoune (25-1-2, 14 KOs) for the vacant European Cruiserweight Title and Amy Timlin (4-0) faces off with Carly Skelly (3-0) for the vacant Commonwealth Super-Bantamweight Title.