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Simpson Considers Selby Bout as 'Do or Die' Opportunity

John Simpson aims to finally earn the international opportunity he feels he has been unfairly denied by regaining the British and Commonwealth featherweight titles against Lee Selby.

Simpson, who faces Selby at York Hall in London on Wednesday night, has already challenged successfully for the British title on two occasions and won three Commonwealth title fights but has never boxed on the European or world stage.

The Scot lost both belts on offer on Wednesday in separate contests against Stephen Smith over the last 18 months, following points decisions he disagreed with.

Such defeats have seen the 28-year-old left behind by sparring partner Ricky Burns, his stable-mate at Billy Nelson's Fighting Scots gym in Glasgow.

Simpson has seen Burns win WBO titles at two weights and wants the chance to achieve the same status by beating 24-year-old Welshman Selby in a fight to be screened live on BoxNation.

The Greenock fighter said: "Me and Ricky have been sparring for years and I believe he has gone to another level since winning the world title.

"That's where I should be. We are still very competitive when we're sparring and I feel I can get to that level.

"Other guys who have won the British title have had European chances. I won the Lonsdale belt outright and didn't get a shot.

"It's do-or-die stage. I don't know how many times I can go down this road. In the back of my mind I know time is running out."

Simpson has lost seven of his 14 title fights, all of the losses coming on points and many of them leaving him feeling on the rough end of justice.

The latest came against Smith in Liverpool in April as he controversially lost the British belt he had won against Martin Lindsay in Belfast a year ago.

"That fight has really set me back," Simpson said. "I was world-rated, I was three or four in the IBF list. It knocked me back. "I'm still a bit bitter about it but there is no point dwelling on the past. I am just looking forward to winning this fight."

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