Lee Selby: You wouldn’t believe the stuff I had to do to make featherweight
Welshman and former world champion Lee Selby raised a few eyebrows recently when making a huge leap from 126 pounds to 135 pounds.
The one-time featherweight ruler moving up a full nine pounds was a clear indication of how tight Selby was at his old limit.
Now refreshed and rejuvenated, Selby faces three-weight king Ricky Burns in a London ‘Battle of Britain’ later this month.
Discussing his decision, Selby admitted it could have happened some time ago.
“A few years back when I was British Champion, making Featherweight was a real struggle. I remember (Eddie Hearn) asking me, ‘how do you make the weight?’.
“The sacrifices and some of the stuff I had to do to make the weight you wouldn’t believe.
“Losing the World title (to Josh Warrington) was very upsetting. But it was a weight lifted off my shoulders. I can fight at a more comfortable weight. I’m in the gym and feeling good.”
On campaigning at The O2 Arena once again, Selby added: “The O2 has been great to me and I have boxed there more than any other venue.
“I won the Lonsdale belt there, won and defended my World title and now I am back there on October 26.
“I’ve got a tough opponent in front of me, Ricky Burns is a former three-weight World Champion. To be a World Champion and defend it once you have got to be a great fighter, to do it twice you have got to be brilliant and to do it at three different weights, you’re elite.
“I have got the utmost respect for Ricky Burns and we shared the ring back in 2014. He got me in for sparring in preparation for his fight with Crawford and from what I can remember it was great sparring, up and down.
“After each session, everyone in the gym would give us a standing ovation so if the sparring is anything to go by then we are in for a treat.”
Opponent Burns had been hunting a big fight for some time. The Scot was delighted to secure a clash with Selby.
“I’ve finally got a fight over the line. It has been a frustrating year for myself. We have had a couple of fights being spoke about but they fell through,” he explained.
“My last fight was in November last year. Now, we have pulled it out the bag with this one.
“I know that I am in for a tough fight. As Lee said, we sparred before and he came up to help me when I was boxing Crawford. I can always remember when we were sparring I said to him he “you’re so big for a Featherweight, how do you do it?”.
“It was competitive sparring and like I said, on the night the best man will win.
“I just feel like I am going out there to do a job. Training has been going well so far. I can’t wait for October 26.”