RENDALL MUNROE will call upon past experiences, frustrations and victories over Kiko Martinez and Victor Terrazas when he clashes with Welsh hot shot Lee Selby for the vacant European featherweight title on November 23. The bout is part of the Carl Froch-George Groves PPV event at Manchester’s Phone 4 U Arena, and follows Selby’s points win over Ryan Walsh at the weekend (October 4) in defence of his British title.
Munroe, 33, twice defeated Martinez in 2008 and 2009 only to see the hard hitting Spaniard punch a hole in Jhonatan Romero to claim the IBF crown, while Mexican Victor Terrazas, whom Munroe stopped in nine rounds back in 2010, has subsequently won and lost the WBC title.
“Watching those two win world titles was massively frustrating, 100 per cent so,” said Munroe during a phone call to Boxing News.
“But this is the game we are in. You can put thousands of pounds on the lottery and win nothing yet your mate can put £2 on and win the jackpot.”
Following his own unsuccessful but valiant attempt to wrest the WBC crown from the formidable Japanese southpaw Toshiaki Nishioka in Tokyo in 2010 and a stoppage loss to Bury’s undefeated Scott Quigg in their second fight, Munroe announced his retirement from the sport, only to make a comeback in May with a first round blow out of Laszlo Fekete.
“I was getting p***** off with the way I was being treated,” said Munroe on his retirement.
“I made my mark as one of the best super-bantamweights in the world and I should have been fighting for world titles. That is not to take anything away from Quigg, he is a good kid.”
“But I had a few mental issues going into that fight. You can be as fit as a fiddle but it doesn’t count for anything if your mind isn’t right. I was saying to my friends and family: ‘If I lose this I am going to retire’ and things like that. They said ‘What’s wrong with you? You have never said you were gonna lose a fight before.’
“I think being at super-bantam since I was 14, I’m 33 now, was getting too much. I had to kill myself to do the weight but I now feel back in love with boxing and I am enjoying it more than ever.”
Late last month (September 28) Munroe battled to a points win over Barnsley’s Andy Townend in an eliminator for the English super-featherweight title and although his 10 round win won’t cause Selby any sleepless nights Munroe says Townend was a physically strong opponent.
“He was a good kid, very strong, but if you look at his record he had been fighting at light-welter and lightweight so I went up three divisions from the guys I was fighting at 8st 10lbs.”
With a victory over Ryan Walsh on Saturday Selby paved the way for his showdown with Munroe, and the Leicester man has nothing but respect for the Barry Town native, who is now an outright owner of a Lonsdale belt, but feels there is a gulf in experience between the pair that he will exploit on November 23.
“He’s a good kid and he’s doing what he has to do,” said Munroe. “Yeah he has looked impressive but how many people used to say that Rendall Munroe was impressive?”
“I believe in the man upstairs and if it is my time it’s my time. I’ve been English, Commonwealth and European champion and fought for a world title in Japan against a very good champion. Some people never get any of those chances but I have another one against Selby to get myself back to the top of the sport again and I will take it with both hands.”