Selby and Cordina set to start their WSB seasons
Tonight, two more Welshmen get their World Series of Boxing (WSB) campaigns underway as the British Lionhearts compete in their first away fixture against Ukraine Otamans. 26-year-old Andrew ‘Bad Man’ Selby starts off with a rematch against Kyrgyzstan’s Azat Usenaliev. They fought last February with Selby prevailing as the winner with a Unanimous Decision victory. It’ll be Selby’s third season in the WSB, having already amassed nine wins from nine fights and scarcely losing a round. The flyweight from Barry, who trains at St Joseph’s and Splott Boxing Club, has achieved a number one ranking in the bantamweight division in the two previous seasons. The last time Selby appeared in a ring, the Welshman suffered a shock upset loss against Scotland’s Reece McFadden in the first round of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The World and European Championships medallist later revealed that the disappointment almost drove him to quit the sport. In the lightweight division, Cardiff’s switch-hitter Joe ‘Welsh Wizard’ Cordina will open his slate for the season against Oleg Prudkyi. Cordina has appeared in the WSB twice before, winning an away fixture against USA Knockouts in Los Angeles but then suffering defeat in another away fixture against the German Eagles. In the summer, Cordina endured the hardest of routes to the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games where he eventually annexed a bronze medal. The 23-year-old bounced back with a tournament win at the Golden Belt competition in Romania. The rest of the British Lionhearts line-up is made up by Aston Brown, Joe Joyce and Haizel Ekow Tabiri-Essuman. Coverage of the show starts on ESPN (Sky Ch. 417) at 7:30pm. Last week, Ashley Williams was the first Welshman to appear in this year’s season but the light-flyweight was defeated at London’s York Hall. The serving soldier was typically tenacious throughout but He Junjun’s sharp skills kept him a step ahead. As the fight went on, Williams was more effective in closing the distance and found success with a left hook to the body. However, it wasn’t enough to turn the tide over the five round distance and He Junjun won, courtesy of a Unanimous Decision. Overall, the British Lionhearts defeated the China Dragons by a 3-2 margin with wins for Qais Ashfaq, Sam Maxwell and Anthony Fowler.