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Lee Selby dreams of the bright lights of Las Vegas as he weighs in... but insists he'd love to 'knock out' Josh Warrington
More from Soccer
- Lee Selby faces Fernando Montiel in defence of his IBF featherweight title
- Selby makes debut on American stage in early hours of Thursday morning
- The Welshman weighed in at 125.8lbs, while Fernando Montiel was 125.6lbs
- Maximum limit for IBF featherweight title fight is 126 lbs
- The 28-year-old admits he would still love Leeds fight with Josh Warrington
- Selby became world champion in May when he defeated Evgeny Gradovich
By Phil Blanche, Press Association Sport
Published: 05:11 EST, 13 October 2015 | Updated: 18:58 EST, 13 October 2015
Lee Selby has geared up for his American showdown by admitting he would still love a Leeds tear-up with Josh Warrington.
Selby makes his debut on the big stage in the early hours of Thursday morning when he defends his IBF featherweight crown against Mexican veteran Fernando Montiel in Arizona.
The 28-year-old Welshman, who weighed in at 125.8lbs while Montiel was 125.6lbs, knows impressing against a former three-weight world champion could be the pathway to fame and fortune in the United States.
Lee Selby (left) and Fernando Montiel (right) go head-to-head at the weigh-in on Tuesday
Selby poses for the camera as he gears up for his Las Vegas showdown against Montiel
Mexican Montiel displays his mean face as he counts down the days until his next fight
The two fighters pose outside Gila River Arena as they go through their final preparations before the bout
But Selby says the prospect of going into the Leeds backyard of European champion Warrington is something which excites him.
'I want to be a worldwide star and to do that you need the big fights in America,' he said. 'But Warrington is still a fight I'd be interested in. He's got a big fan base and the UK fans want it, so it's a lucrative fight.
'I'd fancy fighting there in Leeds with all the crowd. I was up there at one of his fights working for Sky and they were throwing pints of beer at me and calling me all sorts of stuff. So I'd love to go up there and knock him out in front of them all.
'I also think it would be an easy fight when you look at people like (Leo) Santa Cruz and (Vasyl) Lomachenko out there in the featherweight division.
'Warrington's no match to them, but it's the same sort of reward money-wise for me.'
Selby became world champion in London in May when the rugged Russian Evgeny Gradovich was forced to retire in the eighth round with a cut eye.
Selby will defend his IBF featherweight crown against Mexican veteran Montiel on Thursday
Selby became world champion in May when the rugged Russian Evgeny Gradovich was forced to retire
Montiel is a former WBO flyweight and super-flyweight champion and WBC bantamweight belt holder
He had been expected to make the first defence of his title in his native south Wales, but his decision to link with up Al Haymon, now the major figure in American boxing, has seen him try to make his name across the Atlantic.
'Fighting in Vegas is the dream for any boxer and I want to do that,' Selby said. 'I'm not too far away in Phoenix, but it's hardly the bright lights and I've trained harder than ever to make Vegas.'
Selby finds himself in a division among the most exciting in boxing with Gary Russell Jr, Santa Cruz and the explosive Ukrainian Lomachenko all holding world belts and he feels Montiel offers a fast route to recognition in America.
Selby has admitted he would still love a Leeds tear-up with Josh Warrington and is excited by the prospect
The Mexican might be 36 now and a veteran of 60 fights, but he he has won world titles at flyweight, super-flyweight and bantamweight and his last defeat came over four years ago.
'He's a big puncher and I get caught regular in fights, so it should be exciting,' Selby said. 'But I believe I am the best featherweight out there and I've got to show that.
'There's some super-fights in this division, it's buzzing, and I want to be the man. If I keep winning, I will be.'
Warrington successfully defended his Commonwealth featherweight title against Joel Brunker last month