This past weekend Welsh featherweight Lee Selby put on an absolute boxing master class in his final eliminator for the IBF world title.
Selby, 27, is a boxer who often makes the sport look too easy. He makes it look as though doesn’t have to really to try in order to get the win. He goes about his work in relative ease and beats his opponents but some have criticised him for being boring. Selby doesn’t always look to stop his opponent and instead prefers to completely outbox them with a chess-like method. Question marks surrounding Selby’s ruthlessness were raised coming into this with unbeaten Australian Joel Brunker but they were to be blown away.
Selby has marked a real turnaround in fortunes under Eddie Hearn and his promotional team at Matchroom. A few years ago Selby was struggling to sell-out leisure centres but now he is fighting at the highest level on big cards.
Huge credit has to go to Selby himself for continuing to win but Matchroom with their Skysports partnership have really given him the platform to shine on.
This fight was expected to be a real test for Selby with Brunker and himself having sparred previously in the Mayweather Gym a few years ago. By all accounts it was very tough sparring and this was expected to be replicated in the fight itself.
There were however a few worries that Brunker’s inactivity would be a vital factor in the match-up having been out of the ring for 14 months.
Selby With Quick Start
Selby started the contest in impressive fashion looking to keep the fight at distance and then unload with a few combinations. Brunker showed a lack of head movement and Selby exploited that with seemingly unerring accuracy throughout.
Selby looked so comfortably and relaxed and was absolutely dominating the fight. Brunker was unable to land anything clean and his face was being marked up in return.
Selby was showing how he can outbox other top level boxers without having to move out of second gear. He didn’t even look as though he was trying yet he was in complete control.
Brunker kept coming forward trying to put pressure on the Welshman but he was just continually picked off. Brunker proved his chin can take some decent shots but he just couldn’t get into the fight.
Despite the level of skill on show from Selby the crowd remained quiet and almost uninterested in what was going on. This has been Selby’s problem so far. He is proving too good for his own good at this level. He is beating opponents without having to really try and that doesn’t always create for entertaining scenes.
Selby Stoppage Win
Selby stepped up his performance in the ninth round landing a series of hard shots and forcing Brunker on the back foot. Brunker slumped onto the ropes and the referee stepped in to end the contest.
This was a thrilling end to what was a fantastic performance from Selby. The fight was an absolute shut-out in most people’s views with Selby winning every single round. It is very rare that in a final eliminator for a world title that a boxer is able to assert control of this kind.
Selby has proved that he can be destructive when he wants to be with the body shots that finished off Brunker in this fight. He showed the ruthless streak that many doubted he had.
Title Shot Next
Selby showed true class and will fight the winner of Evgeny Gradovich versus Jayson Velez sometime next year for the IBF world title.
Selby has been labelled as the ‘Welsh Mayweather’ before and such a performance was worthy of that tag.
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