Selby hopes for knockout debut for quick progression to title fights

Selby hopes for knockout debut for quick progression to title fights

Barry Town’s Andrew Selby can’t wait for his professional debut but he’s in a hurry and plans to knockout Haji Juma (15-7-5, 7KO) to quickly progress towards title fights.

The super-flyweight, an Olympian and arguably Britain’s best ever amateur boxer, will co-headline Sanigar Events’ ‘Past Present Future’ show tomorrow at the Newport Centre, live on Eurosport.

Selby said: “We’re going to fast track me. Tomorrow, I’m doing eight rounds and it’s only my debut. I’d like to go on to fight for titles after five fights then.

“I want to stop him [Juma]! I don’t want to bank the rounds because that means I’m losing more brain cells getting punched. I just want to get him out of there inside the distance.”

In the opposite corner to the 26-year-old Welshman will be Juma, the current African flyweight champion. The visitor is significantly shorter than Selby but he’s competed at a respectable level. In Juma’s last two outings, he’s won the African title and suffered his only stoppage defeat at the hands of Thailand’s Kwanpichit Onesongchai in a WBO regional title fight.

Assessing his opponent, Selby said: “I’ve only seen one fight of his on the internet. In his last fight, he fought for an African title and won. He’s no mug, he’s come here to win, That’s why he was eyeballing me up there.

“He is a good fighter, I know that. He’s only been knocked out once and that was in the last round. He was winning the fight, too.”

The younger brother of IBF world featherweight champion Lee Selby has spent his training camp alongside his sibling and preparation has included stateside stints in Los Angeles and Arizona. Andrew wants to return to fight there in future and it’s a possibility that could be aided by Al Haymon, the influential figure who advises Lee.

Andrew said: “I was meant to fight out there on the 10th of October in Boston but it got called off. I’d like to go back, though. Hopefully after this fight we can sort it out because it’s a big deal for me.

“I’ve been to America twice in this training camp. My main adjustment is the sparring, I’ve been sparring with a lot of pros. I’m not changing my own style that much, it’s been about getting used to sparring the professional style because it’ll be different to the amateurs.”

In the unpaid code, Selby spent the majority of his time in Sheffield at the English Institute of Sport, 200 miles from home at the Team GB headquarters. The family man, a double European champion and World Championships medalist as an amateur, can now make the most of his home comforts but he’s most looking forward to fighting in Wales, something he hasn’t done since 2012.

Selby said: “I’ve mainly trained at home and I’m enjoying it. I get to train at home and go back to my girlfriend instead of being away from my family all the time.

“I’m buzzing, I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. I just can’t wait to put on a good performance for everyone in Wales. Last time I fought in Wales was in a few years ago in the WSB [World Series of Boxing]. So, it’s been a while.

“I’m just nervous, I want to get on with it and show everyone what I’ve got. I’ve done over 200 tickets. Half of Barry is coming down to watch me and I want to give them a good night.”

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