Lee Selby

Lee Selby with Floyd Mayweather Jr (Photo: Lee Selby, Facebook)

Lee Selby with Floyd Mayweather Jr (Photo: Lee Selby, Facebook)

Lee Selby (b. 1987) rose from obscurity to win the British, Commonwealth, European and world featherweight titles, and a glorious future could await the Barry man.

Selby, the elder brother of amateur star Andrew, turned professional in 2008.

An obscure career seemed in store when he lost his fifth bout, to Samir Mouneimne at the Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke.

He recovered to win his next six, setting up his big chance in 2011 – a shot at Stephen Smith’s British and Commonwealth featherweight titles.

The unbeaten Smith was a firm favourite in front of his home fans in Liverpool, but Selby shocked the boxing world with an eighth-round stoppage win.

After that he went from strength to strength, with impressive defences against dangerous foes John Simpson, Patrick Okine and Martin Lindsay, the latter in Lindsay’s Belfast home town.

Selby even enjoyed a training trip to the States, where he is reported to have impressed Floyd Mayweather in a Las Vegas sparring session in front of the ‘Pretty Boy’.

The Welshman joined Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom stable in 2013, with the promoter promising that his new fighter would go on to win a world championship.

He took another important step down that road in February 2014 when he headlined a show in Cardiff and claimed the vacant European featherweight crown with an impressive six-round stoppage of Rendall Munroe.

Selby kept on winning to become mandatory challenger for Evgeny Gradovich’s IBF featherweight belt, the title shot secured at the O2 Arena in May 2015.

The Welshman, in his 22nd fight, put on a masterclass against the previously unbeaten champion, who he dominated from the outset.

The forlorn Gradovich suffered a cut above the left eye from a head clash, meaning that the bout was stopped in the eighth round and went to the judges’ cards.

There was no doubt who the winner would be, scores of 79-73, 79-73 and 80-72 making Selby Wales’ 12th world champion and just the fourth man from the country to have claimed British, Commonwealth, European and world crowns.

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