IBF Featherweight World Champion Lee Selby has signed a deal to work with boxing advisor Al Haymon.
Al Haymon currently works with a number of the world’s leading boxers, including British boxers Amir Khan, Carl Frampton and James DeGale. Al Haymon will work as an advisor to Selby, who will continue to be managed by Chris Sanigar.
Speaking on the agreement, Selby said: “I’m delighted to have signed with Al Haymon and I’m looking forward to boxing in some massive fights ahead. I’m also pleased to continue with Chris Sanigar, who’s been with me since the start of my pro career. It’s exciting times ahead and I can’t wait for my first world title defense.”
Selby’s manager Chris Sanigar added “Lee has been based out in the USA for his last five training camps and it was always our ambition longer term for Lee to box in the USA as well as at home in the UK.”
Selby is being lined up for a homecoming fight in Wales, before likely heading to the US to make his bow in a mandatory defence of his world title.
He’s also being tipped for a showdown in Leeds with domestic rival Josh Warrington, but Selby doesn’t believe the big-ticket seller is at a world level. Warrington next faces Joel Brunker, who Selby beat in nine rounds in the fight that earned him a world shot.
“I can see Brunker upsetting the apple cart in that one,” Selby said. “The way I boxed him, with the movement, I didn’t let him look as good as he is.
“If you look at Brunker’s previous fights when his opponents stand in front of him – as I think Josh Warrington will – he’s a great fighter. I think he’s capable of an upset. He’s a very good fighter and I didn’t let him box to his best.
“When Warrington comes up against proper world-class fighters, he’ll get beat. He hasn’t got the power, skill or boxing ability to keep a world -class fighter off him.”
Selby admits he’s hoping for some huge nights ahead “I’m not going to be one of the champions who picks out the opponents. I’m willing to fight the best. You won’t see me dodging anyone. I’m going to be a true champion and defend against whoever steps up,” he said.
“The plan is to defend back home in Wales. I’ve built a good fanbase there and it’d be nice to give something back to the crowd because they’ve been travelling around to support me. If I can fight at home, that’d be brilliant.
“The way I’d like to see my career go is to squeeze in two voluntary defences before my mandatory defence is ordered, which I think is going to be in March.”
Looking ahead to potential unification bouts, Selby said: “Obviously you’ve got the likes of Gary Russell Jr, who is the WBC champion. I’d like to hold that title. Then you’ve got Vasyl Lomachenko, who is one of the biggest pound-for-pound stars of this era so I’d like to face those two and see how I get on.
“I’d probably like to face Lomachenko ideally because he’s got the higher profile. They’d both be tough but I’d get more credit if I beat Lomachenko.
“My record is deceiving. I was told throughout my early fights to get the rounds in and learn on the job. I wasn’t sent out to knock them out. Then you look at my title fights and fighters that I wasn’t even supposed to beat, I’ve knocked out, so I can punch.”
These seem to be interesting times for Selby as he waits for the details of the first defence of his title after winning the belt from Russian Evgeny Gradovich at The O2 in May to became Wales’ 12th world champion.