Lee Selby (20-1, 8KO’s) stylishly provided London’s on-watching O2 Arena with a boxing lesson this evening, showcasing a nasty ruthless streak which put paid to a stubborn Joel Brunker (27-1, 15KO’s) resistance.
The former British, Commonwealth and European champion won the fight without really stepping out of second gear; the highly rated Brunker was relentless in his pressure however it lacked a calculated science and at every opportunity Selby reminded him of that and made him pay.
Hard wide shots to the head and body started to take it’s toll upon the Australian around round five as he showed signs of weakening to the body.
The “Aussie” corner tried to remind their charge that this was the last step in his quest for a tilt at world title honours and Brunker rallied with a spirited effort in round eight catching Selby with some flush shots on the inside.
Luckily for Selby his chin has never been in question, nor his boxing ability, as when he decided to really turn the heat up upon his #3 rated IBF counterpart, there wasn’t really a lot Brunker could do to evade the quick powerful shots other than turtle up on the ropes and try and weave the hurtful blows.
Banked early work to the body provided the results for the Barry world featherweight contender going into the ninth round, as Brunker fixated upon defending his worsening right eye, kept a high guard allowing Selby to tuck a hard crisp left hook to the ribs which sapped all of the remaining energy out of the 27 year old.
It wasn’t long until the fat lady was singing from then on out, as Selby sustained a pressured attack with Brunker unable to defend himself on the ropes and eventually crumbling to his backside on the bottom string.
Referee Marcus McDonnell called a halt to the contest at 2.49 of round nine, with him deeming Brunker unable to continue.
Asked after the fight whether this was his best performance, Selby replied candidly, “No I don’t think so, there is a lot more to come. It was good but if you come down to the gym and see me spar you’d be shocked. But I passed with flying colours and I’ll do the same against [Evgeny] Gradovich. I think that fight [against Brunker] was tougher than that will be.”
He continued, “I’ve had quite a bit of criticism about the way I’ve boxed. I’ve been guilty of coasting through my bouts and doing enough just to win but I showed my class this evening.”
Pressed on a world title fight in England Promoter Eddie Hearn followed up, “Gradovich boxes all over the world so why not? Selby had a faultless performance. I can’t remember him losing a round. He’s ready to become a world champion against Gradovich and we’ll hopefully get that done early next year.”