Lee Selby fulfils lifelong dream with Las Vegas title defence

Credit: Lawrence Lustig
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Lee Selby (23-1, 8 KOs) will return to the United States for a second time on January 28th when he makes the third defence of his featherweight crown against former world champion Jonathan Victor Barros (41-4-1, 22 KOs) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Selby-Barros joins the fight card headlined by the 126-pound world title rematch between champion Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland and former three-division titleholder Leo Santa Cruz.

Selby-Barros will be part of a Showtime Extreme telecast in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.

Selby, a 29-year-old native of Barry, Wales, is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision over Eric Hunter on April 9th in London. Prior to that, Selby defeated former world champ Fernando Montiel by unanimous decision in Glendale, Arizona, in his first professional fight outside of the U.K.

“It’s been a dream of mine since I was a young kid to box in a world title fight in Las Vegas, the mecca of boxing,” Selby said. “I’ve seen U.K. fighters like Lennox Lewis, Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe and Amir Khan box in Las Vegas, and I always knew that’s where I wanted to fight.”

Selby—who won his world title on May 30th, 2015, when he dethroned Evgeny Gradovich by eight-round technical decision—will be facing an experienced foe in Barros.

A 32-year-old from Mendoza, Argentina, Barros has six world title fights under his belt, having gone 3-3 in those match ups. He fell to then-champion Yuirorkis Gamboa by unanimous decision in his first title fight in March 2010. Nine months later, he fought for the same title—which by then had been vacated—and scored a seventh-round TKO of Irving Berry.

Barros made two successful title defences against Miguel Roman in March 2011 and Celestino Caballero in July 2011 and has rallied to win his last seven consecutive fights since losses in 2012. Most recently, he earned a split decision over Sattoshi Hosono in a title eliminator bout on October 3 in Tokyo.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity to compete for another world title in Las Vegas,” Barros said. “I have worked hard to put myself in this position, and I am going to make the most of it.

“Selby has never faced anyone as dangerous as me, and I plan on making it a long night for him. I am going to become another Argentine world champion and bring the title back to my country.”

Selby acknowledges he’s in for a tough fight against Barros.

“My mandatory challenger is experienced, dangerous and I will not take him lightly,” he said. “I’ve had a strong training camp, and I am 100 percent focused on putting on a show for the American fans and the travelling fans from the U.K.

“My No. 1 objective is to bring my world title back to Wales.”