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Hooks & Jabs
By Richard Hubbard
LEE SELBY HAS done the rounds, in more ways than one.
The IBF featherweight champion of the world has 195 rounds on the clock from his 26 professional bouts, but he reflects that he has also covered nearly all the bases where major broadcasters are concerned.
He will tick another box in this respect on December 9 when the defence of his title against the unbeaten Eduardo Ramirez at the Copper Box is screened live on BT Sport.
“It will be great to get to showcase my skills on another platform, BT Sport, which I haven’t done, having boxed on BoxNation previously.
“I’ve also boxed on ITV, Sky Sports, Box Office, ESPN and now I am onto BT, which will bring a whole different bunch of fans hopefully.
“It is making a mark in world boxing and British boxing especially.”
Now aligned with Frank Warren, Selby is in position – should he successfully overcome Ramirez – to attend to some pressing domestic duties.
Josh Warrington is first on the hitlist – with the Leeds man having made himself mandatory challenger following his felling of Dennis Ceylan – and the prize for the winner of that showdown being a likely coming together with Carl Frampton.
So it is all there to play for, but the Warrington match has been a long time in the pipeline and Selby is eager to finally settle the squabble once and for all.
“He’s called me out for the last God knows how many years,” said the now 30-year-old. “He mentions my name constantly – even during his last fight in-between rounds. I don’t know what his obsession is with me, but he has made himself mandatory challenger and now the fight is going to happen.
“I know back when we offered him the fight when he was calling me out he said he couldn’t box on that date because he was getting married, then he boxed Patrick Hyland on the same date we proposed to him.
“I don’t know what his game is, but now he is mandatory and hopefully I come through on December 9, then we fight,” added Selby, who won his title in May 2015 and, while he doesn’t dismiss the threat of his forthcoming challenger, he believes he possesses the upper hand.
“He’s not a bad fighter, but he’s not a great fighter. I think he does everything well so I class him as a good fighter. He’s got a good jab, a good workrate and good boxing skills.
“He hasn’t got excellent boxing skills, he hasn’t got an excellent workrate or an excellent jab – he is good at everything and not great at one specific thing.
“He is good fighter and you’ve got to be a good fighter to become IBF mandatory challenger.
“I just think I am a better fighter.”
THE NAME OF Gary Corcoran may not, just yet, resonate too much outside of boxing circles in the United Kingdom but, after a whistle-stop promotional tour of Australia , he is now very big Down Under.
Corcoran became something of a celeb after his WBO world welterweight title challenge to the champion Jeff Horn was formally announced recently as he was ferried around the Aussie media circuit for a multitude of television appearances.
Chat shows, panel shows – you name it, Horn and Corcoran kept each other company for a whole week promoting the fight that takes place on December 13 in Brisbane, which the Wembley man is already back over there preparing for.
Not entirely in keeping with his ‘Hellraiser’ image, Corcoran operated totally in tandem with his opponent, even to the extent of the pair sharing a car to travel to and from their media obligations.
It did not prove to be an issue for the no-nonsense 27-year-old, but he did concede there is one opponent who it would take more than a seatbelt to keep them apart.
“You wouldn’t put me in the same car if I was fighting Liam Williams!” stated the former light-middle, who also revealed the Aussies had an endless fascination with his Traveller lifestyle. “But they did it over in Australia for us to go on some programmes and I just got on with it.
“I found it all comfortable and got used it after the first one or two. It was all quite funny and I am quite big over there now and all over the newspapers and TV!
“They love the traveller lifestyle that I have because they don’t really know what it is over there.
“They do seem a bit obsessed with it, to be fair, so it is quite funny for me.
“No matter what though, Jeff is getting beat,” he reminded, before reasoning that his shot at the top coming out of the blue was his just desserts for hard work and patience.
“My trainer Peter (Stanley) has been saying to me for ages just to keep winning and something is going to come out of the hat – and it has! My promoter and manager has treated me good and got me fights that I always take. It has all worked out in the end and I’ve got my reward.”