ST JOSEPH’S proud head boxing trainer Tony Borg is tipping his charges Gary Buckland and Lee Selby to have a stellar 2014, writes Michael Pearlman.
The Newport trainer enjoyed double delight on Saturday at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena with both fighters enjoying career defining victories.
British featherweight champion Lee Selby defeated Rendall Monroe – his toughest opponent to date – to capture the European title and looked dazzling in doing so in six one-sided rounds before a stoppage.
And Newport’s Buckland, coming off a defeat that saw him lose his British super featherweight title, stepped up to lightweight and beat former world champion Gavin Rees via split decision in a British title eliminator.
The show and the two boxers in question have received major plaudits this week and Borg believes it’s just the start for the pair of them.
And Borg admits he’s not yet even certain if Buckland will remain at lightweight.
“It’s a difficult one,” he explained. “Obviously it’s only 5lbs but that can make a huge difference to a fighter in terms of making weight and feeling at your best.
“We will sit down with Gary (Borg and Buckland’s manager, Brian Powell) and discuss the best way forward.”
Borg admits he’s still not 100% certain about the outcome of Buckland’s battle, other than believing it to be a fight of the year candidate.
“I’ve watched it back, I still think Gary nicked it, as I did on the night, but I understand why so many people called it a draw or just for Gavin Rees,” he said.
“When I got in the ring after the fight Gary (Lockett, Rees’ trainer) and I both commented that it might end up being a draw... it easily could’ve been.”
And Borg is looking forward to testing himself on the continent in 2014 now that Selby is a European champion, the Barry-boxer building up to a possible world title opportunity in 2015.
“That was the real Lee Selby we saw,” he said.
“The speed and the way he dominated, it was very, very impressive.
“We are watching him turn into a superstar and it’s very satisfying.
“I expect them both to have a really good year.”