IBF featherweight world champion Lee Selby relishing defending title
Last Updated: 04/06/15 5:04pm
Newly-crowned IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby is set to defend his title twice this year before setting up unification bouts for 2016.
The Welshman, 28, scored a stylish seventh-round stoppage of Evgeny Gradovich at the O2 Arena on Saturday to lay his hands on a world belt for the first time and he is planning three more bouts before taking on fellow-champions such as Vasyl Lomachenko and Nicholas Walters.
Selby told Sky Sports News HQ: "My plan now is to become an established champion myself just like Gradovich was. I want to defend the title as many times as I can. I'm looking to fight in September in Cardiff and then again in December.
"The IBF will order a mandatory challenger and after that, then maybe set up unification fights. Luckily, I'm in a talent-packed division because featherweight is probably the best division.
"There are some great champions. Vasyl Lomachenko is probably the one I'd go for last because he's technically perfect. My younger brother boxed him in the amateurs and he beat my brother on points.
"Lomachenko is probably the best amateur of my era with 300-odd fights with only one defeat, two-time Olympic gold medalist. His record says it all.
Lomachenko is probably the best amateur of my era with 300-odd fights with only one defeat, two-time Olympic gold medalist. His record says it all.
Selby on Vasyl Lomachenko
"Nicholas Walters is the WBA champion and punches extremely hard with both hands, so that's a risky fight - then you've got Gary Russell Jr, who probably has the fastest hands in boxing at the moment. Again, they're difficult fights."
Reflecting on a momentous night in London, Selby said: "I'm always confident going into every fight. I knew what he was going to do because he's a pressure fighter. He was going to wear me down and tire me out but there was no chance of me getting tired. I outboxed him with relative ease.
"With his style, the pressure fighters, as long as they're landing shots then they're happy to take them. When I was making him miss was what disheartened him. I was slowly breaking them down.
"If the fight wasn't stopped due to cuts then I think I'd have gone on to knock him out.
"It's still a bit of a blur. It's something I've been working towards for such a long time and I've finally achieved my dream. In the ring I tried to keep my cool but when I got back to my hotel, the emotions kicked in.
"I've been training for 20 years with my father, coach, brother and whole family. It's been a long way."
Selby is famously disciplined in his lifestyle and training and revealed the inspiration initially came from his late brother.
He added: "Growing up in my town, I got into trouble like most young boys do. Then there was a turning point. Looking back at it, I wasn't conscious of it at the time but it was when my older brother passed away.
"That was when I turned my life around and decided it was make or break. I put all my dedication into boxing and it's turned my life around."