SELBY: SPARRING IS ESSENTIAL

It’s less than three weeks until ‘Sugar’ Lee Selby (17-1, 6KO) opens up Sky and Matchroom Sport’s new year of boxing at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on February 1st against Rendall Munroe (27-3-1, 11KO). BoxingWales visited Selby at Newport’s St Joseph’s boxing club where he, along with trainer Tony Borg, has been preparing to defend his British title and challenge for the vacant European title. The early Sunday morning tradition at the gym is sparring and it’s something Selby loves. He said, “Sparring is the biggest part of my training camp. It’s where I simulate the fight, it’s essential. The main things I enjoy in boxing are the sparring and fighting, that’s what it’s all about. I get my fitness done myself and then I spar, you can’t get no better preparation than sparring because it gets you fighting fit. “When I’m training for a fight, I like to spar three times a week. I spar more than a hundred rounds in my training before a fight and the closer we get to the fight, I’ll do twelve rounders a few times a week. We have four different sparring partners, so they’re all fresh and sharp for the full duration.” Having only fought one southpaw so far in his career, the veteran journeyman Johnny Greaves, sparring has become an even more essential part of Selby’s preparation for Munroe and the Welshman is lucky that St Joe’s gym is bursting with boxers. He said, “Our gym is buzzing, there’s plenty of boys to spar here and a few are around my weight. Like I sparred then, Mitchell Buckland and Craig Evans. It’s great to have quality southpaw sparring in house. They’ll prepare me well for Rendall Munroe. “I was at their stage one time but now I’m a champion. They’re doing what I did, they’re near enough my weight and they push me hard, we help each other out here.” A keen gym goer even when he hasn’t got a fight date, one factor that the 26-year-old featherweight has had to consider is that he doesn’t over do it but Selby detailed how he gives himself plenty of time to wind down before the fight. He said, “I’ll usually stop around ten days before the fight. I like to finish on a good note, a sharp warring session when I’m on form, so it’s the last spar I remember. I don’t want to go in to a fight remembering getting beat up in my last spar, I like to finish on a good one. I’m going to have another hard week and a half, then I’ll start easing down. “It’s hard to train hard and cut weight, so what I usually do, I get all the hard training out of the way first and I can drop my weight in the last ten days. It’s easy for me that way because most it’s water anyway. I maintain my water through training camp, so I can lose five or seven pounds in a session.” Tickets for ‘Reloaded’ Selby v Munroe are on sale now priced at £30, £40, £60 ringside and £120 VIP are available from livenation.co.uk or by calling 02920 22 44 88.

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