The televised opener showcased a 12-round, action-packed battle as Lee Selby (22-1, 8 KOs) made his U.S. debut and secured a unanimous decision (116-112, 118-110, 119-109) win over former three-division world champion Fernando “Cochulito” Montiel (54-5-2, 39 KOs).
Here is what the fighters had to say about their performances tonight:
“I wanted to be smart and aggressive in there tonight, and that’s what I did.
“He was coming in fast like we knew he would. We knew he was going to come forward. I just couldn’t get my shots off like I wanted to.
“Consecutive losses are tough, but I’m not easily discouraged. I just need to regroup and then we’ll see what’s next. I’m still considered one of the best.”
“I’m the heavier guy. I’ve always fought at 147 lbs. This is my natural weight and I sparred against much bigger guys during the last few weeks of training camp. I was facing fast 180 lbs fighters in camp to get ready for this.
“We followed our game plan tonight. I give (Alexander) props for standing in there with me.
“Fighting on a PBC card on ESPN is the best kind of opportunity for me. I’ll use this fight to get another great chance like I got tonight.
“I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me. I’m always the underdog, but I embrace it because that mentality has pushed me to work harder.”
“My jab, reach and speed were my biggest advantages tonight. That was how I got the win.
“All the cuts I’ve had in my career have come against shorter fighters like (Montiel). When I got cut tonight in the 6th round it was the same thing. I caught a head butt.
“I was honestly disappointed in my performance tonight. I got the win and it was a great feeling to get my first one on U.S. soil. But the fans didn’t see me at my best, and a big part of that was Montiel’s experience. He’s a great fighter.”
“I thought it was a lot closer fight than the judges had it on the scorecard.
“I spent the first few rounds waiting for him to come at me so I could counterpunch. But he wasn’t engaging me so I became the aggressor and brought the fight to him.
“It was an honor to fight on this PBC card here in Arizona. I honestly think I deserve a rematch. I want to fight him again.”