3:17pm Monday 7th October 2013
ST JOSEPH’S star Lee Selby is confident he can beat Leicester’s Rendall Munroe and claim the vacant European featherweight title after securing his British belt for keeps.
The Barry boxer, who trains with Tony Borg in Newport, dispatched Cromer’s Ryan Walsh at London's O2 Arena on Saturday to become the first Welshman to claim outright ownership of the Lonsdale Belt for 18 years.
Selby did not have to be at his sparkling best to put the first stain on Walsh’s career record - winning by the wide margins of 118-112, 118-110 and 117-111 on the scorecards of the three judges ringside.
The victory means the 26-year-old – whose 18-fight pro record now stands at 17 wins and one defeat – is the first Welshman to win a Lonsdale Belt outright since Swansea's Floyd Havard in 1995.
“Not many Welsh people have done it and not many people in general do it so it’s a big achievement,” said Selby.
“I didn’t think he’d be as good as that. I might have underestimated him a bit. I thought he put in a good performance but I’m a level above the British boxers now.”
Selby will now relinquish his British and Commonwealth titles to take on Munroe, possibly taking place on the Carl Froch-George Groves undercard in Manchester on November 23.
“I’m ready to move on to the European now,” he said. “I’m mandatory for the European so I think I’m going to be fighting Rendall Munroe.
“He’s a big name in Britain so it should be a good fight. I know I can beat him. He’s still a good quality fighter but he’s had his day.”
Selby was criticised by many for a second successive low-key victory, following a similarly uninspiring points win over Romanian Viorel Simion for the WBC International featherweight title in July.
But super-middleweight world champion Froch defended the talented Welshman.
“It wasn't the most exciting performance from Lee and he didn't set the world alight,” said Froch.
"But he did what he had to do; he comfortably outworked Walsh and put in a great performance.
"Can he move up to world level? It's difficult to compare at this level, he needs to step it up for sure but that was impressive enough for me."
Munroe secured a 10-round win against Andy Townend in his English title eliminator in Doncaster on Saturday.
The 33-year-old retired from boxing in December 2012 after losing his WBA interim super-bantamweight title fight against Scott Quigg but announced his comeback five months later.
Munroe won the European super-bantamweight title five years ago and fought for the world title against Toshiaki Nishioka in Japan in 2010.
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