World title eliminator a moment of truth for Lee Selby

TITLE SHOT: Lee Selby takes on Joel Brunker in an IBF world featherweight title final eliminator at the 02 Arena on October11Picture: Lawrence Lustig, Matchroom Sport

TITLE SHOT: Lee Selby takes on Joel Brunker in an IBF world featherweight title final eliminator at the 02 Arena on October11Picture: Lawrence Lustig, Matchroom Sport

First published in Sport by

ST JOSEPH’S star Lee Selby says next month’s final IBF world title eliminator against Australian Joel Brunker is the moment of truth for him.

The 27-year-old Barry boxer, who trains with Tony Borg in Newport, has been described by his promoter Eddie Hearn as the best featherweight in the world.

And Selby is confident that he can beat anyone but he knows that he still has to prove that he is the real deal, particularly some harsh online critics.

“It’s time to see if I’m really a good fighter or a hyped-up ****** like some of the people on Twitter have been calling me,” he said.

“People are calling me an over-hyped ***** and I won’t mention what they’ve been saying about my moustache!”

Selby has lost only once in 20 fights as a pro – a narrow points defeat to Samir Mouneimne in his fifth bout back in 2009.

But he has been heavily criticised in some quarters for laboured performances over the past year as he beat the likes of Viorel Simion, Ryan Walsh, Rendall Munroe and Romulo Koasicha.

“I believe on my day, at my very best, I can beat anyone,” said Selby.

“Not based on my last few performances in the ring but if I can bring what I do in the gym into the fights I can beat anyone.

“We’ll see on October 11 because this guy is a tough customer,” he added.

“But if I win this fight I won’t be able to contain myself because then the next fight will be for a world title.”

Selby is respectful of unbeaten Brunker who he sparred against a few years ago.

Brunker, aged 28, hails from Richmond, New South Wales and has so far fought mainly in Australia, although two of his last three bouts have been in America.

Selby has also been on his travels and he’s well prepared for a tough test at the O2 on Saturday, October 11.

The Welsh star has also been helping Kiko Martinez ahead of his IBF world super-bantamweight title showdown with Carl Frampton in Belfast this weekend.

“I’ve recently come back from Alicante in Spain where I was sparring with Kiko and he looks very strong,” said Selby.

“He’s one of the hardest punchers I’ve been in with.

“I did spar with Brunker a couple of years ago as well, when he was 23-0. Now he’s 27-0.

“We sparred in Mayweather’s gym twice and twice at the Hit Factory.

“It went well but I don’t think either of us thought we’d be fighting in a final eliminator.”

Tickets for the show, which also features Olympic champion Anthony Joshua against Denis Bakhtov for the WBC international heavyweight title, are available on 08448 24 48 24 and from the O2’s ticketing agent – AXS.com.

Comments (1)

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6:04pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Tony Soprano says...

Good luck Lee, people can say what they like but the whole of Wales is right behind you & that's all that matters.
Good luck Lee, people can say what they like but the whole of Wales is right behind you & that's all that matters. Tony Soprano
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