Evgeny Gradovich vs. Lee Selby on April 25th
By Scott Gilfoid: #1 IBF Lee Selby (20-1, 8 KOs) and IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich (19-0-1, 9 KOs) have reportedly agreed to terms for a fight on April 25th, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.
By agreeing, the two fighters’ teams have avoided a purse bid for the fight. The Gradovich-Selby fight will be taking place at the O2 Arena in London, UK, even though Selby is merely the challenger.
It’s thought that the fight has a better chance of making good money in the UK rather than in the United States, where Gradovich has yet to build up a big following among the boxing public.
As of now the contracts have yet to be signed for the Gradovich vs. Selby fight, but that’s expected to be done soon.
Gradovich is going to need to be ready to cut off the ring on Selby, as the British fighter is known for his constant movement around the ring. Selby doesn’t have any power to speak of, so he tends to dart here and there around the ring, and look to out-slick his opponents. I personally don’t fancy the way Selby fights because he runs and holds way too much for my taste, but he’s got a loyal band of fans in the UK that enjoy that style of fighting.
“We’ve all agreed to the deal,” Carl Moretti, Top Rank VP told Dan Rafael at ESPN.com. “Gradovich is the true definition of a world champion because he fights anybody, anywhere, and it should be a great fight. It is a mandatory bout, so should Gradovich win, I’d like to make a unification bout for him after this. We expect him to beat Selby.”
Gradovich is coming off of a controversial 12 round draw against Jay Velez in his last fight in November of 2014 at the CenturyLink Center, in Omaha, Nebraska. One judge scored it 117-111 for Gradovich, while another had it 115-113 for Velez.
The third judge scored it a draw at 114-114. I agreed with the 117-111. I thought the other two judges put in embarrassing scores, as it seemed like a clear cut victory for Gradovich, as he pressured and outworked Velez in every round of the fight.
Selby’s promoter Eddie Hearn is putting the finishing touches to the contracts for the fight, and he expects to announce the fight next week.
“I can’t wait to bring this fight to the U.K. It’s a great fight, a true 50-50 bout, but I believe there is so much more to see from a Lee Selby. I’m very confident we will see a new IBF featherweight champion come April 25,” Hearn said.
Selby defeated an over-matched Joel Brunker in his last fight in October of last year in scoring a 9th round stoppage.
The fight was supposed to have been a competitive match-up, but Brunker looked absolutely horrible. Some boxing fans thought that Brunker was for real because he beat a couple of aging fighters in Mike Oliver and Ivan Hernandez, but it didn’t turn out that way.
It would have been better if Selby had to beat someone with more talent like Gary Russell Jr or Abner Mares in order to get a title shot against Gradovich, but obviously those guys would asking a lot of Selby, would likely struggle badly against those guys due to his lack of punching power.