Fighter Diary by Josh Warrington
As he continues preparations for his IBF world title final eliminator against Dennis Ceylan on October 21, Josh Warrington reflects on the fight that got away – this time around – in his latest exclusive Fighter Diary column…
WHEN THE PRESS conference was called to announce my IBF final eliminator against Dennis Ceylan, predictably the name of Lee Selby cropped up in a number of conversations, questioning why the fight did not come to fruition after it appeared to be firmly in the pipeline.
Obviously I wanted the fight and, when nothing was confirmed, I was asking questions and was constantly on the phone speaking to Steve Wood or Frank asking if we were any closer.
The weeks passed by and, at one point, I thought we were there and it was 90 per cent done, then it dropped off and we were a million miles away again.
When it came down to it you had to ask the question ‘why?’, whether it was a case of bumping his money up a bit more if he was that bothered? But when the demands started coming out that his team were asking for, it just wrote the fight off completely.
It went from potentially happening to not a chance at all.
I am not sure whether it was him or his backers that really didn’t want it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was him thinking he is too big for me or waiting for bigger things on the horizon.
But if he was waiting out for Santa Cruz or Mares, that has gone down the drain because they are both fighting soon and will probably be looking to fight each other after that, so it pushes that back at least six months.
Carl Frampton isn’t going straight back into a title fight, so that writes him off. Another possibility would’ve been Scott Quigg, but he is fighting soon too.
So I don’t know why he rejected the fight with me. There was an opportunity there and he has not taken it.
Unusually for him, Selby didn’t have much to say for himself on social media while all this was going on. Last time out, when the original offer was made while I was with Matchroom, all I said was that I wanted a change of date and Selby and his team went absolutely manic saying I had bottled the fight.
All I wanted was a change of date and they kind of covered all that up by calling me a bottle job and saying I was ducking it.
Ever since that time we have always tried to make it and there has been no response from him. That doesn’t get you anywhere and I haven’t heard him say much in interviews either.
I don’t know what the crack is with him now, but I am going to make myself the mandatory challenger so that I cannot be avoided.
I can hardly be accused to trying to avoid him when I am trying to force the issue to get the fight. Some of his fans, they don’t have a Scooby Doo what is going on, they really have no idea.
I have seen some of them saying I have ducked Selby and I wonder where they get it all from. I know and he knows that an offer has been made and we wanted the fight more than anything.
That is why we have gone down this route of a final eliminator against Dennis Ceylan. Why would we want to go round the long way when we could have gone straight to the source?