One on One with Lee Selby, the ‘Welsh Mayweather’
By: Albert Alvarez
Albert Alvarez- Lee, I remember watching your fight against Evgeny Gradovich to capture your IBF featherweight title, and I loved the way you boxed him moving right to left to force Gradovich to reset a lot more than he wanted to. Did you watch a lot of fight tape to see his hard re-sets, or was it more so something that you noticed during the fight?
Selby- It comes naturally to me, I knew that I had to box him and that’s exactly what it is, it’s boxing. You have to keep forcing your opponent to reset.
Albert Alvarez- Your footwork is phenomenal and I especially love the way you tattoo your opponents with just enough activity to keep them over thinking. So for those out here in the states that may not be familiar with your work, what fighter or fighters in history would you say you patterned your boxing style after?
Selby- Thank you and I have seen a lot of greats. I like to box in a way to where I am the one dictating the pace, I will force my opponent to fight my fight, not their fight.
Albert Alvarez- Speaking of here in the states, with yourself being Welsh, Joe Calzaghe who was a great fighter and your fellow Welshman, I feel he waited too long to make the trek out here to really get that worldwide recognition. Is that something you feel as well, & if so, is that why you signed with Al Haymon to get fight opportunities here in the states to make your mark?
Selby- I talk to Joe and yes that is why I am here across the pond, I want to make my mark now. To get my recognition, my legacy. I agree with you, I feel Calzaghe and even Hatton took too long in coming out here to get that worldwide recognition.
Albert Alvarez- What are your thoughts right now as you prepare to make your first defence of your IBF belt against former three-weight world champion Fernando Montiel here in Glendale , Arizona on October 14, live on ESPN here and on Sky Sports back at home?
Selby – Well Montiel is a very good fighter so I know what type of fighter he is, but I can adapt and box off of my back foot. So my thoughts on it is that I am excited and ready to put on a show for the fans live and watching at home.
Albert Alvarez- Assuming you get past Montiel and no disrespect at all to him, as Montiel is a tough veteran fighter, but if given the choice on who to lock horns with next between Leo Santa Cruz, Jesus Cuellar, or Gary Russell Jr. Who gets that work?
Selby- Anyone of those guys you mentioned would make for a good fight and I like my chances against any of them. But as we mentioned earlier, Montiel is in over 60 fights so I am focused on him and yes, afterwards I am ready for all the big names.
Albert Alvarez- How do you like Arizona so far, how are the boxing fans treating you out here?
Selby- I love it here, the fans here in Arizona are great. It’s a little hot out here but I am here to work so it doesn’t bother me much. The fans have shown us a lot of love, we are very thankful.
Albert Alvarez- I even saw that you went to see my good friends at El Fundador Tacos, I heard you had a lot of fans greeting you there.
Selby- Yes, great people, a lot of love and loyal boxing support there. I loved it all.
Albert Alvarez- Alright Lee, tell everyone out here in Arizona why they should go and get tickets right now, what can they expect to see.
Selby- Come out to see me and the other fighters put on a great show. My team and I traveled here many many miles so I am here to take care of business and you will not be disappointed.
Albert Alvarez- Bonus non boxing related question: I hear you are a big hip hop fan, who are your top 5 best mc’s ever?
Selby- Yes, I am a big hip hop fan, I would say Tupac, Biggie, Big L, Eazy E, and I love Wu Tang..
Albert Alvarez- Ok, ok, I like that, now give me top 5 greatest boxers.
Selby- Ali, Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, Money Mayweather, Sugar Ray Robinson.