SELBY: I WON’T VACATE BRITISH YET, IT’S THE EUROPEAN NEXT

Barry Town’s world ranked Lee Selby (16-1, 6KO) has revealed to BoxingWales that he won’t vacate the British title even if he wins the historic Lonsdale belt outright to own forever by successfully defending it for a third time against Norwich’s Ryan Walsh (16-0-1, 8KO) on Saturday. The Welshman said that since there are plans for him to box Leicester’s Rendall Munroe for the vacant European title then he’ll put his British title on the line to defend a fourth time – an achievement no Welsh boxer has ever met since Howard Winestone defeated Billy Calvert 50 years ago. He said, “I’ve got Rendall Munroe for the European after this, so I’ll keep hold of the British to box him. I won’t give it up until I really have to. They only ordered the fight yesterday so I haven’t had a chance to speak with my promoter about it yet. “I’d definitely like the European before world level. I would have won every belt in boxing then – starting with the Welsh, Celtic, Commonwealth, British, WBC International, European and hopefully the WBC big title then.” “To be honest, as long as I’m getting paid in big fights, I’m happy to fight anyone for anything. Rendall Munroe is a big name over here, so it makes sense to fight Munroe and my British title may as well be on the line.” First Selby must overcome Walsh, an uncompromising front foot fighter who is unlikely to allow Selby to have it all his own way on Matchroom Sports’ show at the 02 Arena on Saturday. Should Selby win, then he’ll be the first Welshman to defend the British title three times since the legendary Johnny Owen did in 1980, Selby’s respectful of the history and he recognises it’s importance in his development. He said, “Johnny Owen is a Welsh legend, isn’t he? So, following in his footsteps is huge and I will win this fight and bring it back to Wales. It would be great to be a history maker, my brother has obviously made history in the amateurs and I can do the same in the pros now, I’m catching up to him. “Winning it outright hasn’t been a priority, I’ve always said if a bigger fight came along then I’d vacate it but it’s nice to own forever, not many people do it. It’s a nice belt to win, it’s one of the best belts in boxing. “Chris Sanigar (Selby’s manager) is old fashioned and he wanted me to win the British outright. He wants me learning all the time, he doesn’t want me to box for a world title, put up a good performance and lose in a close points decision. He wants me to win the world title, defend it for a long time and make some money.” Like Selby, Walsh comes from a fighting family and he’s been forced to learn his trade on the small hall circuit. The Norwich native enters Saturday’s bout the same way Selby did when he won the domestic titles with a shocking knockout upset win over Liverpool’s Stephen Smith in 2011. The similarities in their situation is something Selby is mindful of when assessing his opponent, he said, “Walsh is the only worthy opponent who I haven’t beat at British level. He has the same sort of odds as when I went in to fight Stephen Smith but I don’t pay attention to that really, I just do my training and prepare hard for every fight. That’s what I do naturally myself. “I tend to overestimate my opponents myself, then when I get in there I’ve made them to be so good in my head and when they throw shots it comes easily then. He’s a good fighter, very strong but he haven’t fought anyone yet but it was the same with me. I didn’t fight anyone, I was held back and told not to knock them out but when I got my chance I took it and he’s planning on doing the same thing. “If he wants to fight, I’ll beat him up and if he wants to box, I’ll outbox him. I just adapt on the night, if you go in with a plan and they come out with something different and your plan don’t go alright, you’ll start worrying then. So, I go in there and adapt as the fight goes on.”

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