‘Lightning’ Lee Selby will take out his frustrations on Jonathan Barros in his latest IBF world featherweight title defence on July 15th on the massive Chris Eubank v Arthur Abraham bill.
It will be the Welshman’s third defence since winning the title two years ago, but in January he suffered real heartbreak as his scheduled fight against former world champion Barros was called off just 24 hours before they were set to touch gloves in Las Vegas.
It is that delay which Selby vows will spur him on to his best performance, now that the pair are finally set to meet at The SSE Arena, Wembley.
Selby said: “Barros is going to pay, simple as that. I was mucked around last time because he and his team couldn’t get their act together and this time, all I can say is, I can’t wait. I am absolutely thrilled to be fighting him at last, on a huge bill in London and with the stage set for me.
“I have been a worthy IBF world champion and beating a tough customer like Barros will put me in the hot seat for a fight with Carl Frampton or Scott Quigg, or any of the other world champions. Either of those Brits would suit me down to earth. But first it is Barros and I’m determined to make him pay. I don’t need any motivation for this one. I was there in Las Vegas ready to fight and through no fault of my own it didn’t happen. It is now and Barros will be taken apart.”
Selby has beaten Fernando Montiel, Eric Hunter and Andoni Gago since overcoming Evgeny Gradovich to win the world title in May 2015.
His last victory was a low key clash with Gago in March, but this is the big one for Selby, who turned 30 in February and can boast an impressive 24-1 record since turning pro.
Selby, who will fight on the London show, promoted by Poxon Sports, in association with Team Sauerland, said: “I feel I am so ready for the enormous fights and they don’t come much bigger than this on a huge card in London in front of the ITV cameras.
“Barros has only been stopped once in 46 fights so he is clearly a very good, very experienced campaigner. His record proves that. He has also won seven in a row so he is on a roll, but it is about to come crashing down against me in London.
“I’ve never been so up for a fight in my life, not even when I won the world title. This is all about getting me back in the limelight, showing the fans what they have missed and becoming a hero in Wales and the rest of Britain. Barros is in my way and I will work him out, then walk through him.”
Barros, 33, lost in his first bid for the WBA world featherweight title to Yuriorkis Gamboa in 2010, but he won it nine months later when stopping Irving Berry in his hometown of Mendoza. He lost his title over a year later to Celestino Caballero – after earlier recording a points decision over the same opponent – and then narrowly failed in a bid for the IBF world super featherweight title in 2012.
A defeat in late 2012 to Mikey Garcia appeared to suggest Barros was past his peak, but the Argentinean has won seven on the trot since that loss, including his most notable recent win, a points decision over Satoshi Hosono last year in Tokyo.
Selby said: “Everything about Barros says he is top class and his last victory underlines the fact that he is also not afraid to travel. All of this will not help him when we step in the ring on July 15th and there is only the two of us and a referee. I’m determined to make a statement and Barros is going to get stopped.”
Selby v Barros is part of a huge bill at The SSE Arena, Wembley, with Eubank v Abraham headlining the show, which is live and exclusive on ITV Box Office.
Also on the card will be unbeaten pair Kid Galahad v Dennis Ceylan, Robbie Davies Jnr v Michal Syrowatka and Martin Ward v Anthony Cacace.
Selby said: “It is a fantastic fight night for the fans and one I know they will never forget. All of the fights are top notch and it will be a privilege for me to be boxing on it, successfully defending my world title.”
Selby’s manager Chris Sanigar said: “Lee Selby is a very special talent and a very special person and he will prove that on July 15th. It will be a memorable night for Welsh boxing and for British boxing and fight fans are in for an thrilling evening.”