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Lee Selby wants to fight all the top featherweights

Fernando MontielBy Scott Gilfoid: Now that Lee Selby (21-1, 8 KOs) has the IBF featherweight title in his possession, he says he wants to fight all the top featherweights in the division like Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares. Selby says he wants to fight the top dogs, but unfortunately he’s not doing that for his next fight.

Selby is taking on the aging 36-year-old former flyweight Fernando Montiel (54-4-2, 39 KOs) on October 14th on Premier Boxing Champions at the Gila River Arena, in Glendale, Arizona. This fight is the equivalent of Selby facing little Jorge Arce, a fighter who also started his career out in the flyweight division.

The 5’4” Montiel does not have the youth and more importantly the size to compete with the much taller and naturally bigger 5’8” Selby. I’m still trying to figure out why Selby’s promoter Eddie Hearn picked the aging Montiel out for this fight rather than a top featherweight like the ones that Selby has been yapping about wanting to fight.

“I want to fight the best boxers, fighters like Leo Santa Cruz – and I think I’ve got the style to beat most of them,” Selby said to skysports.com.

As you can see, Selby does a lot of talking but not a whole lot of doing when it comes to him blabber about wanting to fight the best. I’m sure that Selby’s promoter Eddie Hearn could have opened up his purse and come up with the money to get the likes of Abner Mares, Leo Santa Cruz, Vasyl Lomachenko, Nonito Donaire, Nicholas Walters, Jhonny Gonzalez or Gary Russell Jr. to agree to a fight.

How can Selby not be fighting at least one of those guys? How about Selby fight Orlando Salido or Roman Martinez? Those would be great fights as well. But fighting an old timer like Montiel isn’t a great fight. It’s a great mismatch in my view.

“I want to fight the best and I want to be the best featherweight in the world,” Selby said. “I’m not going to be one of those champions you see picking out nice easy defences,” said Selby.

If Selby isn’t going to be one of those champions that don’t take on soft touches then why in the heck is he fighting Montiel instead of someone good. I see Selby flapping his gums about wanting to fight the best but I sure don’t see him doing that.

Selby is coming off of an 8th round stoppage win over former IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich in his last fight.

“You won’t see me staying with my home comforts, defending my title against voluntary defences, easy defences,” Selby said.

Selby says he doesn’t want to defend his title against voluntary challengers, but that’s exactly what Montiel is. He’s not a mandatory challenger. Montiel is ranked near the bottom of the top 15 at No.11 by the International Boxing Federation rather than the top, so that makes him a voluntary defense for Selby.

I just get the feeling that there is disconnect between what Selby is saying and what his promoter Eddie Hearn is doing when it comes to match-making for him. I’d like to see Hearn start matching Selby against quality opponents after his mismatch against Montiel, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

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