Selby set for Mayweather-Pacquiao trip to Las Vegas and Los Angeles

Selby set for Mayweather-Pacquiao trip to Las Vegas and Los Angeles

Next week, ‘Sugar’ Lee Selby (20-1, 8KO) will be in Las Vegas for the ‘Fight of the Decade’ between superstars Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao but he’ll be preparing for his own historic date with destiny. The featherweight faces undefeated Russian champion Evgeny Gradovich (19-0-1, 9KO) for the IBF title in 36 days and will prepare for the date at London’s O2 Arena by visiting both the Mayweather Boxing Club and the Wildcard Gym, where Pacquiao trains. Speaking of the trip ahead, Selby said: “I went to the last Mayweather fight and being around it, seeing what I could get to one day is just great motivation. This time, we’ll go to the weigh-in and watch the fight on one of the big screens.” In 2012, renowned writer Elliot Worsell dubbed the boy form Barry as the ‘Welsh Mayweather’ in a feature for trade publication Boxing News. It’s a moniker that’s stuck ever since and Selby is backing the world’s best pound-for-pounder to prevail next weekend with his most important win ever. He said: “When the fight was made and before I saw them head-to-head, I fancied Pacquiao but after the head-to-head, I’m going with Mayweather for a late stoppage. Pacquiao’s too small, I think.” Selby leaves for America with his manager Chris Sanigar on Sunday; he will spend a week in Las Vegas before moving on to Los Angeles. It will be his second stint in the States in the space of five weeks and he’ll return to train at Eddie Mustafa Muhammad’s H.I.T. Factory and Johnny Tocco’s Gym. Selby said: “It’s a better quality of sparring partners over there. Y’know, it’s in the heat as well and I’m out of my comfort zone, too. To them, I was an unknown Welshman coming over, they didn’t have a clue who I was to start with but then I earned their respect. “When we first went there, we had no respect shown to us but now they know, they’ve watched me box and they respect me now. They’re happy to have me in the gym, especially because it benefits their boxers, too.” Should the 28-year-old dethrone Gradovich, who will be defending his belt for the fifth time, Selby will become the 12th Welshman to win a version of a world title. Interestingly, the challenger says that many of the fight fraternity in America are expecting him to do it. Selby said: “They all think I’ll beat him, they’ll think I’ll outbox him. That’s American and Mexicans saying that, especially the Mexican coaches in LA. They know Gradovich well because he trains in Oxnard [California], so they know what they’re talking about.” “He [Gradovich] is the same in all of his fights; comes forward with aggression and tries to work you out. He’s always the same. I’ve showed different sides of my game; I can box, I can fight or go on the back foot. “He’s just one dimensional but he does it well or he wouldn’t be a world champion. If he does something different though, I’ll know he’s out of his comfort zone and I’ll capitalise.” Sky Sports Box Office will show ‘Rule Britannia’ exclusively live this Saturday. Buy now at www.skysports.com/brookgavin

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