On his lifestory
BBC3 are doing a documentary and it’s gonna be out after my next fight. They started filming in the changing rooms before the Joel Brunker fight and it’ll finish in the changing rooms with me holding that red belt. If you watch that you’ll see all about my life, where I come from and hopefully where I’m going.
On his childhood
We didn’t have much growing up. Three of us brothers, two sisters, all of a similar age. We didn’t have a lot but we had a great family and that’s all that counted. We were happy, that’s the main thing. It’s made me a lot hungrier for me to provide that for my daughter. Whatever she wants she’s gonna get.
On Ali and his own dad
Muhammad Ali’s the idol, the greatest. That’s who I watched growing up, he was always on TV with my dad watching him. My dad’s a boxing historian, fanatic, he loves it. He’s usually with me every day at the gym. When I train in Barry he does the pads and coaches me back home. He’s been doing that since I was eight, he’s put in the same amount of dedication as I have. He don’t believe in father-and-son relationships in boxing. There’s only been three I can think off that have done well: Enzo and Joe Calzaghe, Floyd Mayweather Snr and Jnr and Danny Garcia and his dad, Angel.
On being the underdog
The Stephen Smith fight was my breakout fight on TV, so the British public got to see me, the promoters got to see me. I was supposed to get knocked out but I turned it around and knocked him out. I’d lost to Samir Mouneimne who Smith had beat in the ABA final so he probably looked at that and thought it’d be an easy fight. But everybody in Wales knew what was up and they all went down the bookie’s.
I’d rather to go into a fight as the underdog, everybody booing me. When I boxed out in Ireland, the whole crowd booed me, calling me a w***** on the way in and I thought, ‘I’ll show you’ and I got in there and boxed great.
On us tagging him ‘The Welsh Mayweather’
I remember. I get asked, ‘Why do you call yourself the Welsh Mayweather?’ I never did that. I’ll send them to you next time. You can’t get a better name tag in boxing can you? I hope Floyd Mayweather don’t find out, he’ll wanna beat me up. It’s nice and I think you starting naming me it because I was going out to his gym, that boring style [laughs] and all the rest of it. He’s the best in the world at what he does.
On fighting Evgeny Gradovich on away turf
I wouldn’t be disappointed unless it ended up in Russia, only due to dodgy decision, he’s the home fighter and I’d have to knock him out to win. If it’s in America, it’s on a massive stage, live on HBO and Sky Sports here and it’s a massive platform. But ideally home advantage would be the one.
I think Matchroom brought [Lucian] Bute over for [Carl] Froch, that’s the only champion I think. Look at the fighters he’s been sending away, Eddie Hearn. The opponents are big stars: [Demetrius] Andrade, [Shawn] Porter and [Adrian] Broner, with massive promoters out in America. The fights go to purse bids and those big American promoters have got more money and so they’ve got to go away and fight. I’m understanding. I’m a believer if you’re good enough you can win anywhere. Look at Muhammad Ali, he travelled around, he boxed all around the world and he won.
For the full feature interview with Lee Selby don’t miss next week’s issue of Boxing News