Selby wins to secure world title shot

Selby wins to secure world title shot

Last night, ‘Sugar’ Lee Selby (20-1, 8KO) continued his run towards a world title by dominating and stopping the previously unbeaten Joel Brunker (27-1, 15KO) in the ninth round. In one of the most polished performances of Selby’s six year career, the Welshman’s final eliminator win at London’s O2 Arena guaranteed a shot at Evgeny Gradovich’s IBF world title in the new year. The boy from Barry Town produced a punch perfect performance and one of his most defensively sound displays. Aside from two early head clashes, Selby rarely received any blow of note as he gradually broke down Brunker whose face had began to redden as early as the first round and it was a sign of things to come. Selby looked a weight division above the visitor but he opted to use the ring and circle Brunker, allowing the Australian to overreach before countering with stinging shots in the gaps of his guard. If anything, Brunker was over eager to get his hands on Selby but his feet were too slow and he always seemed a step behind. The Welshman showed his finishing instinct in the ninth to cap off a near faultless night, Selby sank a left hook to Brunker’s body, causing him to wince and it was the start of the unravelling. It was the first time in the fight that Selby had put Brunker on the back foot and kept him there with a sustained attack. As Selby followed up, Brunker stumbled across three sides of the ring and almost sank to his knees as referee Marcus McDonnell waved the contest off. Selby broke through with a British title win ten fights ago and the combined record his opponents since then now stands at 183 wins, 16 losses and four draws. The 27-year-old who has fought four times in the last 12 months now plans to take a few months off to spend time with his new born daughter. Gradovich (19-0, 9KO), a Russian based in California, is scheduled to defend his title for the fourth time on November 29th when he faces Puerto Rican Jayson Velez (22-0, 16KO) in Nebraska, USA and Matchroom Sport are planning for Selby to challenge the winner in March 2015. Image by Russell Pritchard.

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