Lee Selby talks Barros, Quigg and Frampton
Lee Selby was all set to fulfil a lifetime’s ambition and defend his IBF featherweight title in Las Vegas, against mandatory challenger Jonathan Barros. The two were scheduled to meet in late January on the undercard of the Carl Frampton-Leo Santa Cruz rematch.
However, moments before the weigh-in, things took an unexpected turn when Selby (24-1, 9 knockouts) was informed that Barros had failed to meet the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s licensing conditions.
The 30-year-old Welshman’s plans were thrown into disarray.
“I did everything on my side,” Selby told RingTV.com. “I had a perfect training camp. I made weight and about 15 minutes before I was about to go on the scales (the officials) came and told me the fight was off. I was absolutely devastated.”
While many would have kicked back and enjoyed themselves in Sin City, Selby, the consummate professional, made good use of his time on the West Coast.
“No break. That (incident) was on the Saturday and on the Monday we drove to Los Angeles,” he revealed. “We sparred at the Maywood gym and carried on like normal. As soon as I had a few rounds sparring, it got it out of my system. I took my frustration out on my sparring partner, Charles Huerta, and got back to training. We had a good spar, I spar with him regular.”
Selby’s management team, Chris and Jamie Sanigar, quickly arranged a non-title fight that took place on the undercard of David Haye-Tony Bellew in early March. Selby showed his class and had his way with Andoni Gago in four rounds.
“It sort of made up for the training camp not going to waste,” he said. “It wasn’t ideal. Luckily I had a decent pay for a 10-round non-title fight, so that covered a load of loses that I had over in Vegas.”
Things have now come full circle as it appears likely that Barros will get his title shot in late-June, at a venue to be announced, within the next two weeks, according to Selby.
“The IBF have remade him as the mandatory,” he stated. “It’s a bit disappointing what happened but that’s boxing. You have ups and downs (but) you have to try to stay professional and get on with it.
“Hopefully I come through successful and then look for a big fight towards the end of the year.”
There are several options for Selby, including two domestic rivals who reside near the top of the featherweight division.
“(Scott) Quigg would be a big domestic fight,” he said. “Hopefully, I come through Barros OK and then maybe that could be next. It would be high-profile. He’s a big name in the U.K. and I think it would be a great fight.
“(Carl) Frampton and Quigg are massive names. If Frampton doesn’t fancy it, I know Quigg would and Eddie Hearn would want to make that fight, so we’ll do that one.”
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