Evgeny Gradovich defended his IBF featherweight title against Lee Selby at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, London. Selby, known as the Wales Mayweather, drawn from his compassions to Floyd Mayweather Jr., had the chance to show up big against a fighter in Gradovich who’s made his presence felt in the division over the past couple years.
Gradovich came out aggressive and kept Selby on his toes. Selby was sharp even when he was forced out of his element, but it wasn’t worth enough against Gradovich and he couldn’t keep him honest. Gradovich found Selby’s chin several times toward the end of the round, but Selby was unaffected.
Selby started picking off Gradovich with clean punches. Selby was moving well in the 2nd but it was the combinations he was putting together impressive combinations thrown from different angles with an incorporated footwork.
Gradovich only knew how to fight one way and he wasn’t making any adjustments against a very sharp Selby.
However, it was in the 4th round that Gradovich started to have more success doing the same thing at a higher degree. The pressure was getting to Selby, who wasn’t as nimble on his toes as he had been in the first few rounds. The round was still competitive as both fighters managed to land decent shots, although it was Gradovich that was being more aggressive while Selby’s landed punches were much more technically sound.
Gradovich began to land some of his best and hardest punches in the fight as round 5 wore on, but it was short lived as Selby began to land his own shots on the backbone of truly impressive footwork.
Selby was masterful from this point moving forward. Not only was he brilliant, but he was completely running away with the fight in a performance that showcased his ability to box combined with his ability to land punishing shots.
Gradovich was cut over the eye with what was ruled an accidental head-butt, yet it was merely a formality as Selby found himself in a real grove and even stunned his opponent with a hard hook upstairs and a few shocking body shots.
The referee eventually called a halt to the bout in one minute into round 8 on the advice of the ringside doctor and since the head-butt was ruled accidental we’d go to the scorecards.
The judges unsurprisingly scored the bout unanimously for Selby with the scores of 79-73 twice and 80-72, making Selby the new IBF featherweight champion.