Selby v Brunker ‘close’ to being finalised, UK venue likely
A stipulated IBF featherweight title eliminator between Joel Brunker and Lee Selby is set to be rubberstamped in the next few days, according to the Australian’s manager Adam Wilcock.
Brunker, 28, and 27 year-old Selby are set to fight it out for the chance to challenge Evgeny Gradovich for his coveted red belt and negotiations between both camps have been progressing for a while now.
“Talks are going pretty well so far and will hopefully be finalised over the next day or two,” Wilcock exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Matchroom are a very professional outfit and always pretty easy to deal with. It’s a fight that both sides wants, which always makes negotiations easier.”
Selby’s promoter Eddie Hearn is usually eager to secure home advantage for his fighter’s if possible, but has overseen several contests Stateside, although without much success. According to Wilcox, three venues are being considered by both camps, with the contenders fighting in their own backyards an option being looked at, along with a lucrative bout in the USA.
“At this stage it could be in either the UK or US and we haven’t ruled out Australia either,” Wilcock pointed out. “Matchroom obviously would prefer to stage the fight in the UK, as would we in Australia, but Joel has travelled before and he’s not scared to fight on the road.
“Being an exciting fighter helps our case when selling the fight into any market. Joel has already had two fights in USA and they warmed to him, so making a fight with Selby over there also of interest to them.
“My partner Greg Cohen has been working on getting the fight to the US, so we have a few options whilst finalising the negotiations. But at this stage, the UK does look very likely and an option that we’d be happy with.
“Should the fight end up in the UK then we know there will be neutral judges and a very knowledgeable, but patriotic crowd in attendance. What better environment to showcase your skills.”
On the challenge that awaits his fighter, Wilcox added: “Selby is talented that’s for sure, but it would be disrespectful to suggest otherwise about any of the boxers contesting this level of fight.
“We got a good look at him against fellow Australian Cory McConnell and we know he is tall, strong and very awkward. He’s been stepped up pretty well by his team, but this will be an even bigger step up for him.
“Joel’s style we believe is perfect to counter that of Selby and the toughness that ‘Aussie’ Joel Brunker brings into the ring will an important decider in the fight,” he added.
Brunker is unbeaten in 27 contests so far with 15 stoppages, whilst Selby has lost just one of 20 and recently claimed a fringe version of the WBC title.
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