Lee Selby: Welsh boxer keeps eyes on history prize as coronavirus disrupts bout dates

Lee Selby’s defeat by Josh Warrington (left) was only the second in his 28-fight professional career

Lee Selby insists his bid to make Welsh boxing history will not be derailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

His IBF lightweight title eliminator against George Kambosos Jr in Cardiff, which was set for 9 May, has been moved to 11 July.

Former IBF featherweight champion Selby was hoping to set up a shot at champion Teofimo Lopez.

Selby, 33, is aiming to become Wales’ first two-weight world champion.

He says his stringent training regime means he will not be affected by the bout with unbeaten Australian Kambosos being postponed.

Having previously suspended all events until the end of April, the British Boxing Board of Control on Monday extended the ban until the end of May.

Speaking to Radio Wales Sport before the official announcement, Selby said: “My career – my life – has been full of setbacks, but I’m always training whether I’m fighting or not and I’m pretty mentally strong, so it will take more than a postponement to upset me or affect my training.

“I’m obviously disappointed and upset it’s not going to be taking place on the date it was scheduled, but the main thing is I’m healthy and my family is healthy.

“I try to take the positives out of every situation and the positives for me are that I get to spend these extra few weeks or months with my family at home.

When asked if his goal remains the same, Selby said: “Definitely – to become a two-weight world champion. I’d be the first Welshman to do so, so to me that means more than any fight is worth, to write my name in the history books.”

Headline bout

Selby held the IBF featherweight title for three years before losing to Josh Warrington in 2018 via split decision.

After moving up to lightweight, Selby won both of his fights in 2019 against Omar Douglas and Ricky Burns before agreeing to face the IBF’s top-ranked contender Kambosos.

The eliminator will headline the delayed event at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, which is the first major boxing bill to be staged in Wales since Anthony Joshua fought Joshua Parker at the Principality Stadium in March 2018.

Kambosos had flown to the USA for his training camp before the original 9 May date, but Selby says his plans have not been affected despite being unable to travel to gyms he uses in Newport and his hometown of Barry.

“The majority of fighters, they train just leading up to a fight, they have a training camp, take a lot of time in the gym,” said Selby.

“With me, I’m always in the gym, always ticking over, regardless of whether I’m fighting or not I’d be in the gym doing the same work.

“I can’t get to a gym at the moment, I’m in the process of turning my garage into a gym.

“I’ve never really wanted to do (that) – my home is where I come and relax. I spend all day in the gym so when I’m home that’s the last thing I want to think about, but it’s come to the point where I’ve had no choice.

“But I’m enjoying it, I’m training twice a day – once in the mornings and once in the evening.”

BBC News

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