Lee Selby edges closer to world title shot

RISING STAR: Lee Selby celebrates after winning the WBC international featherweight belt in May

RISING STAR: Lee Selby celebrates after winning the WBC international featherweight belt in May

First published in Sport
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ST JOSEPH’S star Lee Selby will face Joel Brunker in a final eliminator for the IBF world featherweight title at the O2 in London on Saturday, October 11.

The Barry boxer, who trains with Tony Borg at St Joes in Newport, has been in red hot form over the last 18 months.

Selby claimed the Lonsdale belt outright with a third defence of his British title and burst onto the world scene with wins over Viorel Simeon and Romulu Koasicha.

But unbeaten Brunker also has designs on the world title held by Evgeny Gradovich, and the Australian will provide Selby with his toughest challenge of his career to date.

“It’s a huge night for Lee Selby and one that will show that he is ready for a world title shot,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.

“Brunker is a tough and talented Aussie with plenty of ambition, but I believe that Lee has timed his run to the top just right and will do the business on October 11.”

Top of the bill Matchroom Sport show, live on Sky Sports, will be Anthony Joshua as he fights for his first title.

The London 2012 gold medallist faces Denis Bakhtov for the WBC international heavyweight title.

Joshua returns to the venue he made his pro debut to take on the Russian – a two-time holder of the title.

Bakhtov most recently claimed an eight-round win over Konstantin Airich who Joshua faces at the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester on September 13, also live on Sky Sports.

“I believe that the time is right for Anthony to step up and fight for his first title,” said Hearn. “He has an important clash with Airich in Manchester in September, and when he comes through that, he will be ready to face Bakhtov in what promises to be a cracking contest.”

Tickets for the 0ctober 11 show are on sale now exclusively to Matchroom Boxing Fight Pass members priced £40, £60 and £100 and VIP packages priced £150 at matchroomboxing.com

Tickets will go on general sale on Monday from midday with the £40, £60 and £100 available on 08448 24 48 24 and the O2’s ticketing agent – AXS.com.

Meanwhile, Hearn says that Nathan Cleverly's eagerly anticipated rematch with Tony Bellew could be set for Sheffield rather than Bellew's home city of Liverpool.

“I am in talks to put together a card on December 6 in Sheffield,” Hearn said.

“And it will be of a huge nature. If I am going to get the card I want then I want to put the Bellew-Cleverly fight on that show.

“From a fairness perspective, I also promote Nathan and he is asking ‘Why Liverpool? I’ve been there once before and won’.

“If we do the card in Sheffield, which is potentially a pay-per-view show, then Tony and Nathan could better financially than if it was in Liverpool.

“We haven’t ruled out Liverpool and I’m meeting Tony next week.

“By the end of next week we should know where we are.”

Hearn added: “The fight is definitely happening. It will either be on November 29 in Liverpool or on December 6 in Sheffield.”

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