Lee Selby shreds ring rust with stoppage of Spaniard Andoni Gago

Lee Selby shreds ring rust with stoppage of Spaniard Andoni Gago

Barry Town’s Lee Selby (24-1, 9KO) ended an 11-month spell of inactivity with a ninth round stoppage of Spain’s Andoni Gago (16-3-2, 5KO).

It was a sharp start for the IBF world featherweight champion, who wasn’t defending his belt, as he dropped Gago with a swift left hook in the opening round.

Selby cruised for the next few, seemingly enjoying his time back in a ring and he never came close to dropping a session. Gago remained game but was always second best, struggling to secure success when Selby pivoted away on his own terms.

The ride was made rougher for Gago as they neared the end of the 10 round non-title outing. Selby stepped in to range with thudding body shots and it gradually slowed the visitor’s approach, allowing Selby to spend more time on the front foot.

Referee had seen enough when Selby landed a flush left hook and followed it up with a two-fisted attack. It was the 30-year-old’s first inside-the-distance victory for 28 months and the last fight on his contract with Matchroom Sport’s Eddie Hearn, who co-promoted Saturday’s show at London’s O2 Arena with Hayemaker Ringstar.

Selby, who is managed by Sanigar Events, is now a promotional free agent. It’s hoped that the Welshman will face WBA ruler Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton or Abner Mares. The quartet are keen to take each other on and are all ‘advised’ by influential power mover Al Haymon.

Through one circumstance or another, Wales’ best pound-for-pound boxer has been relatively starved of action over the last year. Selby is fully capable of competing against the world’s best and just needs the opportunity to prove it in 2017.

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