Selby’s world title challenge confirmed

Selby’s world title challenge confirmed

Terms have been agreed for Barry Town’s Lee ‘Sugar’ Selby (20-1, 8KO) to attempt to become the 12th Welshman to win a world title on 25 April. The 27-year-old meets reigning IBF world featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich (19-0-1, 9KO) and it’s no secret that London’s O2 Arena is the likely venue. Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, who will make an official announcement next week, has secured home advantage for Selby and it will be the first time Gradovich has fought in Europe during his professional career, having fought 18 times in America and twice in China. The undefeated Russian won the IBF title with a Split Decision over Billy Dib in 2013 and has since defended the red and gold belt on four occasions; dominating Mauricio Javier Munoz, stopping Dib in a rematch, being dropped but out-pointing Alexander Miskirtchian and most recently, controversially drawing against a fortunate Jayson Velez. Selby, who is managed by Chris Sanigar and trained by Tony Borg at St Joseph’s Boxing Club in Newport, is undefeated in his last 16 fights – a run that has included Welsh, Celtic, British, Commonwealth, European and WBC International title wins. In Selby’s last contest, he was nearly perfect as he won every round of his IBF Final Eliminator against Joel Brunker, before breaking the unbeaten Australian down in the ninth round – it was the fifth unbeaten opponent Selby has beaten in his 21 fight career. It will be the first time a Welshman has challenged a foreign world champion on British soil since Gavin Rees became WBA light-welterweight champion in 2007, when ‘The Rock’ scored a historic Unanimous Decision over Souleymane M’baye at the Cardiff International Arena. Welsh boxing has an illustrious tradition in the featherweight division with Cardiff’s Jim Driscoll inducted in to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, plus Merthyr Tydfil’s Howard Winstone and Cardiff’s Steve Robinson won WBC and WBO world titles in 1968 and 1993, respectively. Former world champion Nathan Cleverly (28-2, 14KO) will also return to action on the 25 April show following his rematch defeat to bitter rival Tony Bellew in November. The Welshman, who turned 28 years old this week, will return to light-heavyweight where he won Commonwealth, British, European and WBO world titles. Image by Russell Pritchard / Matchroom Sport. Sky Sports Box Office will show ‘Rule Britannia’ exclusively live this Saturday. Buy now at www.skysports.com/brookgavin

Multimag Comments

We love comments
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Your data will be safe! Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person. Required fields marked as *