Andrew Selby steps closer to world title shot with eliminator win

Andrew Selby steps closer to world title shot with eliminator win

Last night, Andrew Selby (10-0, 5KO) extended his unbeaten and took another step closer to challenging for a world title.

The Barry Town native secured a Unanimous Decision victory against Mexico’s Maximino Flores (23-4-1, 16KO), courtesy of 119-109, 117-111 and 117-112 scorecards.

It was the third occasion Selby has been extended the full 12 round distance and he again gained valuable experience. Flores didn’t lie down and constantly attempted to press forward, edging Selby towards the outskirts of the ring.

When Selby voluntarily reversed and his back did touch the ropes, the Welshman was calm and often enjoyed the better of the exchanges with quick two-fisted flurries, before pivoting and exiting back towards centre ring.

There were a couple of occasions when Selby showboated, a natural characteristic of the usually shy 28-year-old, and he shipped a few more shots than observers are used to seeing. Thankfully, they were mainly arm punches from Flores, whose snap seemed to have deserted him by the second half of the fight.

Selby’s corner, which included head coach Tony Borg and manager Chris Sanigar, wisely advised against any lapses in concentration and he steered clear of any major damage. Aside from an accidental head clash in the 10th round, neither was overly bothered by the other’s power.

Still, Selby displayed all of his usual skills and hit Flores from a range of angles with sharp uppercuts and screw shots. The visitor would often grit his teeth and come forward again, only to be see Selby pivot and hit him with similar counters again.

In three weeks, it’ll be the two-year anniversary of Selby’s professional debut and in that time, his 10 opponents have an impressive combined record of 175 wins, 65 losses and 16 draws. It’s been a solid learning curve for the contender, who is ready to face a belt holder.

The victory against Flores was the second consecutive World Boxing Council eliminator that the flyweight has come through, having seen off Cristofer Rosales in May.

Selby has a high world ranking with numerous organisations and remains on track to fulfil his world title aspirations, adding more additions to his trophy cabinet that already includes three belts and numerous top level amateur medals.

Japan’s Daigo Higa (13-0, 13KO) defends his WBC world title against Thomas Masson (17-3-1, 5KO) on 22 October in his home country and Selby wants to set up a meeting between the pair.

It was Selby’s first fight since the death of his mother, Frankie Cummings, in July. The waistband of his black and white shorts carried a touching tribute to her.

As always, Lee Selby cheered from ringside. In interviews earlier this week, the elder brother and reigning IBF world featherweight champion reaffirmed his belief that Andrew is the best fighter in the country across all weight categories.

Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions, who held the ‘York Hall Brawl’ show at the iconic London venue, have endured a testing 2017. After the stable’s star Carl Frampton lost and left, they’re in a period of rebuilding and more opportunities should present themselves to Selby.

Selby, who headlined the night, was showcased on Channel 5. The terrestrial broadcaster has an extensive reach and brings significant exposure to the rising contender.

Mountain Ash’s Tony Dixon (10-1, 3KO) had been scheduled to face Asinia Byfield (14-1, 5KO) in a super-welterweight eliminator on the undercard. However, the meeting between the Welsh and Southern Area champions was cancelled when the former suffered an injury. Dixon has recently been sparring reigning British champion Liam Williams (16-1-1, 11KO).

Instead, Byfield took on Hungary’s Gabor Gorbics (23-8, 14KO), who the aforementioned Williams beat in eight rounds in 2016, and impressively beat him three rounds sooner.

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