New fight date for Lee Selby

IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby [23(8)-1(0)] will box again in two weeks time after eleven months out, potentially paving the way for a title fight with Belfast’s Carl Frampton.

The Welsh Mayweather has been added to the undercard of the David Haye v Tony Bellew Sky pay-per-view at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday March 4th.

In what will be a ten-round, non-title fight, Selby will face Spaniard Andoni Gago [16(5)-2(0)-1].

The 31 year old hails from Bilbao and is a former Spanish champion. Once ranked by the IBF, by virtue of holding their International belt, he would lose his ranking following defeat last October to the organisation’s current #5, Viorel Simion.

The Barry boxer joins Ireland’s Katie Taylor on the big card.

Selby was due to defend his title in Las Vegas last month against Argentine Jonathan Barros on the Carl Frampton v Leo Santa Cruz undercard. There would be heartache for the 30 year old however when it emerged at the weigh-in that Barros would not be sanctioned, leaving Selby without an opponent and off the card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

With the strong chance that Santa Cruz will not stay true to his word and travel to face Frampton in Belfast this Summer, Selby had been mooted as a potential opponent for a Windsor Park showdown (although, as a current champion, he will probably now need more persuading than before).

In the wake of the cancelled Barros bout, one stumbling block regarding a Frampton fight was Selby’s lack of ring sharpness having not fought since he defeated Eric Hunter last April.

This bout in a fortnight’s time should provide ample opportunity for Selby to shake off any ring rust and strengthen the possibility of a title defence against Frampton in the Summer should Santa Cruz go down another route.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie