News Notes: Andrew and Lee Selby near next fights, Davies and Miles in the capital, plus Frank Warren’s undercard fills up
Barry Town’s Lee Selby (23-1, 8KO) has been in Japan to scout his potential next opponent. The IBF world champion attended the final eliminator in Tokyo to decide his next mandatory opponent. Argentina’s former world champion Jonathan Victor Barros (41-4-1, 22KO) overcame the local Satoshi Hosono (32-3-1, 21KO) with a Split Decision victory.
The multi-talented Selby hasn’t fought since out-pointing America’s Eric Hunter in April’s mandatory defence and there’s no news available of his next outing. Relations between Selby’s representatives and contracted [for one more fight] promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport have been strained since the featherweight signed an advisory agreement with Al Haymon, whose risky Premier Boxing Champions [PBC] venture appears to have ground to a relative halt.
While Cefn Fforest’s Nathan Cleverly was becoming a belt holder again, the efforts of another of the village’s residents were being honoured. Robbie Regan won the WBO world title in 1996 and a gala dinner was held in Cardiff to pay tribute to the achievement. The bantamweight beat Mexico’s Daniel Jimenez to make history but a series of unfortunate events meant he was never able to fight again and robbed of the riches being a world champion would bring.
Elsewhere, Pontyberem’s super-lightweight Zack Davies (6-1, 1KO) took a first step in putting a frustrating time behind him. In March, the prospect was hindered by illness and suffered a shock defeat to Hungary’s Zoltan Szabo, who has since knocked out the world rated Stephen Ormond. The margin was narrow, just one point, but it cost Davies the renewal of a promotional deal with Frank Warren. Since then, the 24-year-old has struggled to secure another outing but appeared on Mickey Helliet’s show in London. Davies out-pointed Cardiff’s Henry Janes (7-20, 1KO) with a 40-37 points victory at York Hall.
On the same show, Cefn Hengoed’s heavyweight Hari Miles (9-12, 2KO) felt aggrieved after a points defeat to Kash Ali (11-0, 3KO). The four round contest was scored in favour of Ali, who dropped Miles at the end of the opening round, before they shared three tough rounds. Heading in to the fight, ‘H-Bomb’ had been stopped in three of his last four outings. However, it should be noted that all inside-the-distance losses have come against a stellar level of opposition that Miles has always tried to win against, despite the odds being stacked against him. In preparation for Saturday’s task, Miles had shared several rounds sparring with the aforementioned Cleverly at Gelligaer Boxing Club.
Barry Town’s shooting star Andrew Selby (5-0, 3KO) will fight on Friday 21 October, BoxingWales.com has learnt. The British flyweight champion will appear in a non-title contest on the undercard of Cyclone Promotions’ show in Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s understood that 27-year-old Selby will face an international opponent, thought to be Spanish, over eight rounds. It will be broadcast by terrestrial outlet, Channel 5.
Newbridge’s Bradley Pryce (38-20, 20KO) will aim to make it four straight wins on 12 November. The former Commonwealth super-welterweight champion will rematch Justin Menzie (3-1, 1KO), who he knocked out in three rounds last month. It will again take place on a Goodwin Boxing promotion at East London’s iconic and be scheduled for eight rounds. ‘Sugar Sweet’ had agreed to face James Metcalfe (13-0, 6KO) on a MGM Liverpool show on 7 October but suffered a hand injury that ruled him out.
Hatfield’s Billy Joe Saunders (23-0, 12KO) will make the first defence of his WBO world middleweight title against Artur Akavov (16-1, 7KO) in Cardiff on the 22 October undercard of Clydach Vale’s rising star Liam Williams. The 2008 Olympian, trained by the esteemed Jimmy Tibbs, hasn’t fought since out-pointing Andy Lee to win the belt in December. It’s a routine defence that the 27-year-old is heavily favoured to win. Akavov is a relatively unknown contender and had fought the majority of his fights in Russia until recently linking up with New York based promoter Lou Di Bell. Saunders has been strongly linked with Kazakhstan’s fearsome Gennady Golovkin, who holds the WBC, WBA and IBF versions of the division’s crown and promoter Frank Warren is keen to set it up in the future.
The British middleweight title will be up for grabs at the Motorpoint Arena, despite the disappointing and questionable injury and subsequent withdrawal of prima-donna Chris Eubank Jnr. The Midlands’ Tommy Langford (17-0, 6KO) and Yorkshire’s Sam Sheedy (17-1, 4KO) will face each other for the vacant Lord Lonsdale strap in an intriguing blend of styles. The trade fight pitches of solid fundamental skills against flashy southpaw flair, respectively.
Former IBF world champion Paul Butler (21-1, 12KO) has also been confirmed to appear on the BoxNation televised event. It will be the first fight that the Ellesmere Port native has worked with new trainer Joe Gallagher. It follows a fairly recent split with long term trainer Arnie Farnell and Oliver Harrison, who was coach for a very short period which included no fights. After a first career defeat at super-flyweight to hard hitting South African Zolani Tete in March 2015, Butler returns to bantamweight and targets the world title which is now the property of Bristol’s maverick Lee Haskins.
Opponents have now been confirmed for Swansea’s super-flyweight Jay Harris (8-0, 5KO) and Maerdy’s middleweight Alex Hughes (8-0, 3KO). They will face Liverpool’s Phil Smith (6-2, 1KO) and London’s Dalton Miller (4-8-1, 2KO), respectively. It’s yet to be confirmed whether the stablemates, who are two of the emerging talents in Wales, will feature on the television broadcast. Chris Jenkins (16-1-1, 8KO), winner of a Prizefighter tournament and two-time British title challenger, will also appear and end a year of inactivity.
COMING THIS WEEK: Sanigar Events host a show at the Rhondda Fach Sports Centre on Saturday, which features a number of young up-and-comers. A preview will be posted on BoxingWales.com later this week.
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