Advertisement: IBO Boxing
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com
Advertisement

Lee Selby: I Hope The Ricky Burns Fight Brings Out Best in Me

October 26 is a second chance for Lee Selby (27-2, 9 KOs) to show what he is capable of at lightweight.

The former IBF Featherweight world champion faces Ricky Burns (43-7-1, 16 KOs) at London’s O2 Arena as part of the Regis Prograis-Josh Taylor Sky Box Office pay-per-view card.

The Welshman’s first foray at 135lbs, nine pounds north of his former fighting weight, came against Omar Douglas at the same venue back in February. A unanimous decision victory against the American was overshadowed by cuts above both eyes to Selby and didn’t show the threat that he believes he can deliver to his new rivals.

burns-selby (1)

A win against Burns, for the IBF’s number four ranked contender, may lead to a final eliminator at the end of 2019 greatly improving his chances of a second world title shot moving into 2020.

“That’s the plan,” Selby said, in his usual matter of fact manner, to Boxing Scene.

The 32-year-old is full of respect for his Scottish opponent and is fully aware of what the 36-year-old will bring to their fight later this month.

“With Ricky Burns he’s more upright, less likely that we’ll clash heads. It’ll be more of a boxing match,” his assessment began.

“There’s no stopping Ricky Burns. He’s an extremely tough man. I think I’m tough myself. It’s a 12 round fight. Neither of us are massive punchers. It’s more likely to go the distance but anything can happen: break your arm, ribs… anything.”

The pair, as has now been well documented, sparred one another in Scotland five years ago. It was a time when Burns was WBO Lightweight world champion and Selby was over a year away from beating Evgeny Gradovich, again at the O2 Arena, to become world champion at 126lbs.

Since then world title fights have come and gone for both men. Burns has suffered five defeats to good opposition while Selby came unstuck against Yorkshire terrier Josh Warrington, losing his world title at Elland Road, Leeds to the Englishman in May last year. Selby, who lost his mother, one year earlier, dismissed any notion that the defeat to Warrington - after a long-term rivalry - affected him greatly.

“I can get over anything,” he said.

“There’s a lot more (people) worse off when you think of how bad you are doing. Losing a fight ain’t nothing. There’s people with no food and no roof over their head. That’s a loss, that’s struggling. Losing a fight is nothing compared to people like that.”

Selby, however, is better off getting to fight heavier and healthier than he’s used to. His size and frame often prompted onlookers into wondering how he could make the 126lb limit for several years. The laid back Selby opened up to ‘Scene about the rigours and demands of the weight making which played its part physically during the five defences of his world title.

“Early on in training I’d be on 1200 calories a day. Three sessions, six days a week and one of them sessions I burned 1000 calories on a cross-trainer for an hour. Then I’d do another two sessions on an empty tank. And then the closer the fight comes the less I’m eating. The week of the fight it was lettuce leaves, chewed up food then spitting that out.”

‘Scene asked Selby how he managed to put himself through through such an ordeal for so long.

“Just mental toughness, determination and the will to win,” he answered. “It was like a fight to me. My trainer, my manager, no-one knew what I was doing. I just had to keep a straight face and get on with it and make the weight. If I didn’t make the weight I lost the fight, that’s how I saw it. I didn’t complain once, I just got on with it. And if anyone asked me I’d tell them I do the weight easily. I didn’t want to give in and for people to know that I was struggling.”

Selby described his loss to Josh Warrington as “upsetting” but a “relief” at the same time and admitted that had he not been world champion then he would have moved up well before he eventually chose to.

“I can have milk in my coffee now,” Selby laughed when discussing the benefits of being at lightweight.

“I’m fit and strong and I don’t lose as much power. Hopefully this fight will bring out the best in me.”

Selby now finds himself in a division where one man, Vasiliy Lomachenko, rules as king and the rest of the pack continue to chase, claw and scratch their way up the mountain in a bid to topple him. The most recent attempt came from Luke Campbell at the end of August. The 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist at 56kg came up short against the dazzling Ukrainian despite his best efforts which culminated in ‘Loma’ being pushed more than usual in the ring and forced to fight more than he is used to.

“A lot of people wrote Campbell off in that fight,” said Selby who watched the fight as a keen observer.

“He (Campbell) was a top amateur, so was Lomachenko, I thought it would be more like a top class amateur fight rather than a professional fight. Early on Lomachenko didn’t really throw a punch. He was using the jab to find his range, he likes to use his feet to measure his range and distance before throwing. I thought it was a good fight and they both gave a great account of themselves.”

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Mick Higgs on 10-04-2019

Be nice to see the winner fight Devon Haney in the UK.

ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (1)
Advertisement
Top Headlines
Charr Cleared For Travel Visa, En Route To Florida For Title Defense Versus Bryan Stephen Fulton-Angelo Leo: Afterthoughts Keith Thurman: I Don't Know if Danny Garcia Has That Dog in Him Anymore Haney: Ryan Garcia Wants Tank Because He Thinks It’s Easier Than Fighting Me McGregor: There Are No Damn Leg Kicks In Boxing - Pacquiao Fight Was Happening Ex-NBA Guard Kendall Gill To Jake Paul: Come Fight Someone Your Own Size! Coldwell Talks Jordan Gill, Lerrone Richards, Hopey Price, More Haney: Mayweather Training Like He's Fighting a Top Welterweight Warren: Herring-Frampton Is the Kind Of Fight We Like, A Tough, 50/50 Fight Calvin McCord Discusses Career, Future Ambitions, More Stephen Fulton Jr. Took Nothing For Granted In World Title Win Over Angelo Leo Ryan Garcia Teases Potential Pacquiao Showdown As Talks Continue Amado Vargas - The Second of Fernando Vargas' Sons To Go Pro Sergey Kovalev Fails Second Test For Synthetic Testosterone Arum on Fury-Joshua: Hearn Will Send First Draft of Contract on Tuesday Ra'eese Aleem Drops, Batters Victor Pasillas For TKO Win Euro News: Argumedo-Rojas For WBA Title, Sofiane Oumiha, More Ra'eese Aleem: A lot of Fighters in This Division Should Really Be on Notice Rolando Romero Drops, Stops Avery Sparrow in Seven Jake Paul's Trainer Expects Knockout in Three Rounds or Less in Upcoming Main Event Danny Roman: Fulton Proved He Belongs At Top Of 122, He Is Definitely In My Plans Pacquiao On McGregor Loss: Beautiful Thing About The Fight Game, Anything Can Happen Stephen Fulton Outworks Angelo Leo For WBO Title - BIG Gallery Devin Haney: I'll Fight Javier Fortuna Or Jorge Linares Next If Teofimo Ducks Me Conor McGregor: I'm Not Against Celebrity Boxing - If It Makes Dollars, It Makes Sense Paddy Donovan Has Return Pushed To February 19 Mayweather: McGregor Can't Even Win in His Sport and He's Talking Pacquiao! Carlos Diaz Beats Down, Stops Eleazar Valenzuela in Sixth Round Bellew Explains Why Joshua's Win Over Klitschko More Impressive Than Fury's Win Khabib Nurmagomedov Slams Conor McGregor After Knockout Loss Pierce O'Leary, Mark McKeown To Return on McGregor-Guerfi Card Dustin Poirier Blasts Out Conor McGregor in Two, Derails Pacquiao Fight Stephen Fulton Decisions Angelo Leo in Action-Fight, Wins WBO Title Angelo Leo vs. Stephen Fulton - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Ra'eese Aleem Drops Victor Pasillas Four Times, Stops Him in Eleventh Ra'eese Aleem, Victor Pasillas - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Rolando Romero Drops Avery Sparrow, Gets TKO Win in Seventh Rolando Romero vs. Avery Sparrow - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Sharone Carter Stuns McJoe Arroyo, Wins 8-Round Unanimous Decision Angelo Leo-Stephen Fulton: Stats and Stakes
Advertisement
Advertisement
Latest Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement