This Saturday at the O2 arena in London, on the undercard of heavyweight Anthony Joshua’s title bid verse Charles Martin, IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby is set to face mandatory challenger Eric Hunter in what might be the Welshman’s stiffest competition to date.
Since winning the belt a little more than a year ago, the talented Selby has racked up one defense of his championship, a unanimous decision victory in a rather bland affair against a blown up Fernando Montiel in America. Hunter, a former amateur standout, has been on a hot streak of late, besting challengers like Yenifel Vicente, Rene Alvarado, and Antonio Escalante with ease.
This sets the stage for an intriguing matchup that will play to a large UK audience over Sky Sports Pay Per View and a sold out venue (unfortunately no US television).
Fighthype was able to catch up with the 29-year-old Selby in the final days leading up to the bout and gave us a glimpse of his training camp.
“I’m always in the gym. I’m constantly in shape. This time, I didn’t go to America for sparring, I went to the famous Ingle’s gym in Sheffield, I’ve been sparring with Kid Galahad who has a similar style, switch hits, I’ve been sparring with my younger brother Andrew Selby, he’s a great fighter himself, switch hitter, I’ve prepared the best I can”.
If Selby is able to thwart Hunter’s challenge, there are greener pastures ahead in the 126-pound weight class. Unification matchups against the Leo Santa Cruz vs Carl Frampton winner or the Jesus Cuellar vs Abner Mares winner are realistic possibilities. However, Selby is not looking past the tough Philadelphian Hunter.
“All my focus is Eric Hunter, he’s a very good fighter, number one challenger, so I got to come thru this fight first before I start looking for bigger fights in the division”.
Fight fans should expect a compelling matchup between these two skilled operators. Hunter, who can fight orthodox and southpaw, has been looking terrific recently, however, has never fought out of his native soil. Selby, who looked rather mediocre in defeating Montiel, is looking return to form in which he displayed against the likes of Joel Brunker and Evgeny Gradovich. Right now the oddsmakers have Hunter at +500 but this tilt can go in any direction.