News Notes: Lee and Andrew Selby, Joe Cordina, Craig Kennedy, Y Ffeit, Welsh Area Council Awards and more
On Friday, the career dream of Barry Town’s star Lee Selby (23-1, 8KO) was cruelly taken away.
The 29-year-old was due to defend his IBF featherweight world title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, arguably the modern day Mecca of boxing.
However, Argentina’s mandatory challenger Jonathan Victor Barros (41-4-1, 22KO) didn’t meet the Nevada State Athletic Commission licensing requirements. It has since been reported that the 32-year-old former belt holder tested positive for Hepatitis – a serious inflammation of the liver.
Barros missed the press conference on Thursday, yet Selby and his team weren’t informed by Richard Shaefer’s Ringstar promotional company until 30 minutes before the Welshman was due to weigh-in.
It was hoped that Selby and Belfast’s show-headliner Carl Frampton would both win to set up a world title unification in the summer. Unfortunately, Frampton lost his WBA strap in an entertaining rematch with Mexican-American Leo Santa Cruz.
It’s unclear what lies ahead for Selby, who is willing to face any operator in the 126lbs division, and whether the IBF will insist on his next fight being a mandatory challenge. WBA ‘Regular’ champion Abner Mares, a three weight ruler who met with Selby on amicable terms in Las Vegas, also shared his desire for a showdown.
Manager Chris Sanigar has remained in America with Lee Selby but Tony Borg has now returned back to Britain.
The Head Coach at St Joseph’s Boxing Club in Newport will be in the corner for Lee Selby’s younger brother, Andrew, on Saturday.
Andrew Selby (7-0, 5KO) takes on the Philippines’ WBC International champion Ardin Diale (32-10-4, 15KO), live on the broadcast debut of ITV Box Office.
It will cost fans £12.95 to watch the pay-per-view event, which is being promoted by Poxon Sports.
One man who Borg won’t be in the corner for is Cardiff’s Joe Cordina, who has turned professional.
The 2016 Olympian has left the Team GB amateur setup in Sheffield after seven years, a period that included medals at multiple international medals – including at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships.
It has now been confirmed that Cordina has signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport, as first reported by BoxingWales.com last month.
The ‘Welsh Wizard’ will move to Essex to train under Tony Sims, bringing an end to his affiliation with Borg having represented St Joseph’s Boxing Club when he fought in Wales.
There will be another announcement later today for another East Cardiff native.
Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone Promotions are on the verge of announcing the date for Craig Kennedy’s (16-0, 8KO) vacant British cruiserweight title fight against Matty Askin (20-3, 13KO).
The contest will be held on Saturday 11 March at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff City Centre and shown live on Channel 5.
Today’s press conference, which will be held in association with Sanigar Events at midday, will also confirm the undercard. Aberdare’s light-heavyweight Morgan Jones (9-0, 3KO) will face Libyan visitor Malik Zinad (7-0, 6KO) and Cardiff’s Nathan Thorley (5-0, 2KO) will also fight in his home city.
Details have also emerged of Sanigar Events’ deal with S4C’s new ‘Y Ffeit‘ series.
They will promote the first show of the relationship on Saturday 25 March in Merthyr Tydfil. The Welsh language terrestrial outlet will broadcast highlights, along with English subtitles, on Wednesday 29 March.
There’s a possibility that Bridgend’s Richie Canning (4-0-1) will meet Cardiff’s Rhys Saunders (3-4-1, 1KO) for the vacant Welsh Area super-lightweight title, BoxingWales.com understands.
Trelewis’ six-foot lightweight Gavin Gwynne (3-0, 1KO) will also appear on the show.
Last week, Blaenavon’s Mason Jones (3-0) extended his winning run to a hat-trick of wins. The super-welterweight, who is managed by Mickey Helliet, won all four rounds against Kevin McCauley (11-133-10) at the Park Lane Hotel in Mayfair, London.
There was also the second annual awards ceremony of the British Boxing Board of Control’s Welsh Area Council. The winners and recipients at the Marriott Hotel in Cardiff were as follows:
Boxer of the Year – Nathan Cleverly.
Nominees: Lee Selby and Liam Williams.
Contest of the Year – Craig Kennedy vs Joe Tambwe Djeko.
Nominees: Liam Williams vs Gary Corcoran, Craig Evans vs Tom Stalker III.
Prospect of the Year – Andrew Selby.
Nominees: Jay Harris, Ashley Brace.
Hall of Fame Inductees – (Historic) Jimmy Wilde, (Modern) Steve Robinson.
Lifetime Achievement – Charlie Pearson.
Contribution to Boxing – Tony Borg.
Services to Boxing – Harry Carroll.
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