Thursday, March 14, 2013
Selby signs, to get more TV time
By Dan Rafael
Featherweight prospect Lee Selby of Wales, who holds the British and Commonwealth titles -- important stepping-stone belts for boxers in the United Kingdom that often lead to fights against world-class competition -- signed this week with Matchroom Sport's Eddie Hearn in a move that will gain the 26-year-old the wide exposure in the U.K. that he covets.
Selby (14-1, 5 KOs), whose lone loss was a four-round decision in his fifth pro fight in 2009, will now be seen on Britain's Sky Sports subscription network, the biggest boxing outlet in the U.K., which has an exclusive deal with Hearn.
"I'm very excited to box on Sky Sports and I think it's my time to shine," Selby said. "I think I can become a world champion. I'm a confident guy -- that's just my attitude. I've started off at the bottom on non-televised shows and now I'm here. It's a great feeling and I have the chance to get the exposure I deserve."
Selby's next fight (opponent to be determined) will be on the April 20 Sky card in Blackpool, England, on the undercard of junior middleweight Brian Rose's match with former world titleholder Joachim Alcine of Canada.
If all goes well for Selby, he will be back June 20 on a card in Cardiff, Wales, which he will share with countryman Gavin Rees, the lightweight contender who is coming off a February knockout loss to world titlist Adrien Broner.
"We have signed some big names in the last few weeks, but this one makes me very excited, as Lee Selby is one of the most talented and exciting fighters in Britain," Hearn said. "This kid is going to become a world champion. It's a bold statement, but that's our aim. We want to build him into a superstar, just like we've done with [welterweight] Kell Brook, [light heavyweight] Tony Bellew and [junior featherweight] Carl Frampton."
After Selby's promotional contract expired, he became the third fighter -- joining super middleweight contender George Groves and lightweight titlist Ricky Burns -- to jump from promoter Frank Warren to Hearn in recent weeks in a major shift in British promotional power.