Lee Selby: I can beat any featherweight
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby (21-1, 8 KOs) will be making his first defense 16 days from now against 36-year-old Fernando Montiel (54-4-2, 39 KOs) at the Gila River Arena, in Glendale, Arizona.
Selby feels that he’s absolutely going to win the fight without any doubt. In fact, Selby thinks he can beat any featherweight in the division, including Vasyl Lomachenko, Abner Mares, Leo Santa Cruz, and Gary Russell Jr.
Selby thinks he can beat them, but he’s not fighting them. He’s fighting the fringe contender #12 IBF Montiel. It’s unclear what Selby is waiting for. If he thinks he can beat any featherweight in the division then he should already be fighting the likes of Lomachenko, Mares, Santa Cruz and Russell Jr.
“First of all I don’t think I can win, I know I can win,” Selby said to skysports.com. “I believe my boxing ability is second to none and on my given day, I can beat any featherweight on the planet. He’s [Montiel] very experienced, he knows his way round the ring with a 20-year career as a pro but I just believe my boxing ability will show on the night.”
It would be nice if Selby’s promoter Eddie Hearn would put him in with the best featherweights in the planet instead of #10 IBF Montiel, who started his career out as a flyweight. Selby, 5’8”, has a huge size advantage over the 5’4” Montiel, and it’s not even going to be interesting to watch this fight.
Yeah, Montiel has won his last eight fights in the last three years, but he hasn’t beaten anyone good. He’s been facing lower level fighters in record padding fights rather than meaningful ones. That’s probably the reason why Montiel hasn’t been given a high ranking by any of the sanctioning bodies in the last three years.
If he was fighting high caliber top contenders and beating them, Montiel would have been pushed to the top quickly without having to wait three years before he got a world title shot. But instead he’s taken the easy road with fodder opponents, and if not for Selby selecting him in a voluntary defense, Montiel still wouldn’t be getting a world title shot. I think Montiel would have had to wait another three more years before he was given a No.1 ranking if he were to continue to fight weak opposition.
I think Selby will be soundly beaten when/if Hearn eventually puts him in with Russell Jr. and Lomachenko. I also see Selby getting beaten by Leo Santa Cruz and Mares. But I have doubts whether Hearn will bother making any of those fights anytime soon because they’re too risky.
Selby previously said that he was going to get a certain amount of title defenses under his belt before he looked to fight the tough guys like Lomachenko and Russell Jr. in unification fights. I don’t think any of those fights are going to be happening for some time. Selby will likely wind up milking his time for a long time before he ever fights the likes of Russell Jr. and Lomachenko.
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