Andrew Selby eager to make a mark on the world scene

Andrew Selby eager to make a mark on the world scene

Barry Town’s Andrew Selby (8-0, 5KO) has a chance to get one step closer to global honours against Cristofer Rosales (23-2, 15KO) on Friday.

The switch-hitter, who trains at Tony Borg’s St Joseph’s Boxing Club in Newport, has a huge headlining opportunity in an eliminator for the WBC’s green and gold flyweight title at the Motorpoint Arena, live on terrestrial broadcaster Channel 5.

Rosales has left Nicaragua to visit the United Kingdom on a previous occasion. The 22-year-old extended Kal Yafai to the final bell, dropping a competitive but wide decision to the now WBA world super-flyweight ruler over eight rounds. To Rosales’ credit, he’s notched up 13 consecutive victories since that 2015 loss, though none have come at a standout standard.

Analysing the visitor, Selby said: “I’ve watched a few fights of him [Rosales]. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s non-stop for 12 rounds. So, I’ve got to be prepare, keep my hands high and outbox him. I’m hoping I can outbox him for the 12 rounds. I can see me winning on points.”

Selby’s decision, selected by his management team at Sanigar Events, to head down the WBC route for now means he’ll have to take part in their specific rituals. It includes 30-day check weigh-ins and participation in their Clean Boxing Programme, administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association [VADA]. The responsibility involves making himself available for stringent drug testing all year around and Selby stresses its importance.

He said: “I’m enrolled in that [Clean Boxing Programme] now, too. I haven’t been tested yet. The WBC, if you’ve got a belt or ranking, they can randomly test you but they haven’t been to my house yet.

“I think all boxers should get tested because it’s a dangerous sport, isn’t it? A lot of amateurs got caught in the Olympics, failing drug tests. I think it’s good, so everyone jumps in the ring equal and they’re not cheating. It keeps you a clean fighter.”

Last weekend, Japan’s Daigo Higa (13-0, 13KO) dethroned Juan Hernandez Navarrete (34-3, 25KO) via sixth round stoppage to become the new WBC champion. The Land of the Rising Sun dominates the lower weight categories and Selby, who travelled the world as an amateur, is willing to meet Higa on neutral ground.

Selby said: “[He’s a] non-stop pressure fighter, hits hard but he won’t leave the country to fight. It would probably have to be in [Las] Vegas when I’m mandatory for the title.

“I’d love to fight in America and obviously the UK, that’s it. I wouldn’t like to go to Japan to fight for the title because they’re known for the judges going their way all the time.”

The ‘AC Superstar’ won the British belt with one of the most entertaining 12 round routs in recent memory, shutting out a brave Louis Norman last summer. Since then, the search for a challenger to the 2012 Olympian has remained fruitless and Selby hinted that a future high-profile domestic showdown could come in a higher weight category.

“I’m keeping it [the British title]. I’m going to keep it until I win it outright,” said the younger sibling of IBF world featherweight boss Lee Selby.

“I think super-flyweight is red hot right now. Obviously, super-flyweight has some good champions and Kal Yafai is a champion. I beat him as an amateur in 2012. That would be a massive British domestic fight.”

Medal hauls at numerous European and World Championships in an extensive amateur career has seen Selby lauded as one of Britain’s best pugilistic operators. It’s earned him plenty of plaudits, like Hall of Fame entrant Barry McGuigan who fronts the publicity push for his company and the show’s hosts, Cyclone Promotions.

So far, the 28-year-old has collected British, WBC International and IBF Inter-Continental titles as a professional. He’s unwilling to choose between the routes and prepared to go any viable avenue, including the one headed by a superstar who swam in similar waters in the unpaid code, to reach a world title.

“Both [organisations, WBC or IBF]. Any [route]. Just get me up there and ranked. The one person I’d like to fight for a title is Zou Shiming (WBO champion). I think he’s the easiest opponent out of the lot. He’s a two time Olympic champion, he was always the weight below me. That would be good.”

IMAGE BY HUW FAIRCLOUGH. For more images or to contact Huw for booking, visit his official website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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