SELBY STEPS CLOSER TO WORLD TITLE SHOT

Barry Town’s Lee Selby (19-1, 7KO) moved one step closer to a world title shot with a near shut-out of Mexico’s Romulo Koasicha (21-4, 12KO) last night at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena. Headlining Matchroom Sport’s ‘The Second Coming’ show, Selby picked up the WBC International title for the second time in his career which will only improve his number three ranking with the governing body. Selby’s plans to become Wales’ third featherweight world champion, after Howard Winstone and Steve Robinson, progressed as all three judges scored in favour of the Welshman with cards of 119-109, 119-109 and 119-110. Whether Selby was conceding centre ring position and circling his opponent or coming forward behind a strong jab to the body, the Welshman was always in control and enjoyed the better of almost all of the exchanges. The Tony Borg trained talent, who boxes out of the St Joseph’s Boxing Club in Newport, managed to fend off Koasicha’s pressure at long range and step in with straights at mid-range with relative ease, routinely banking the rounds and remaining a step ahead of his opponent. Once Selby realised the unlikelihood of a stoppage and recognised that Koasicha was one of those typically tough Mexican boxers who rarely venture to these shores, the 27-year-old relaxed and picked his challenger off as he approached. Selby was occasionally guilty of throwing arm punches but he remained in first great throughout the fight, such was his skill that he was rarely required to step it up to outbox Koasicha. However, it wasn’t all one way traffic and Selby was on the receiving end of a few reminders, most notably a hard left hand that momentarily stunned the Barry boy in the eighth. Also, Selby suffered an early cut to his right eye that was caused by a Koasicha jab but cutsman Billy Reynolds was adept in dealing with it. Winning last night’s WBC eliminator contest puts Selby in the picture to challenge for the world title. However, it’s likely that Selby will have to win a ‘final eliminator’ to secure mandatory challenger status and put himself in prime position to challenge champion Jhonny Gonzalez (55-8, 47KO). Selby weighed in at 8st 13lbs 6oz and Koasicha was 8st 13lbs 4oz, both under the featherweight limit of 9st (126lbs).

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