The International Boxing Federation (IBF) recently named Hunter (21-3, 11 KO) as the mandatory challenger to the Welsh titlist and have consequently set a 30-day time period for the two teams to negotiate a deal. The deadline for the bout is March 1, but the IBF are happy to extend that – as long as the contest happens next.
Selby (22-1, 8 KO) – who is advised by Al Haymon – made the first successful defence of his belt in October of last year, by outpointing Mexico’s former world champion Fernando Montiel in Arizona, USA. Even though Selby is looking to make a name for himself stateside, he is hoping that this mandatory defence will happen closer to home.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge Eric Hunter will bring and it will be a hard fight, no doubt. Unlike my last fight, the experience here will lie with me and this will be my 14th title fight of some sort,” Selby exclusively told World Boxing News.
“He’s a tough fighter and his record looks worse than it is, with two of his three losses coming by disqualification – so he might be a bit rough and ready. He boxes out of the old Philadelphia gym and can be a very awkward, quick switch hitter – it’s a good test.
“There has been no discussion about a date and venue just yet, but it should be around the end of March. We are pushing for the UK and It would be nice to fight back there. He’s an American and home advantage will always help, but it is still just a boxing ring at the end of the day.
“I don’t think the fight will go to purse bids and we should be able to come to some sort of agreement. If it did go to purse bids the challenger only gets 25%, so I’m sure Hunter wants a little more than that.”
Matt Horan is a lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123