Selby not worried about rival Warrington’s ‘home’ support for Leeds title defence

Selby not worried about rival Warrington's 'home' support for Leeds title defence
Lee Selby will place his IBF world title on the line against Warrington
Lee Selby v Josh Warrington
Date: Saturday 19 May Venue: Elland Road, Leeds
Coverage details: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and live text service on BBC Sport website

IBF world featherweight champion Lee Selby says he will be at ease in the “lion’s den” when he faces Leeds fighter Josh Warrington at Elland Road.

The pair have been rivals for more than two years but meet for the first time in Leeds on Saturday.

At a spiky news conference, Warrington, 27, said Selby would not be prepared for the hostility he will face.

“It’s only four hours up the road from my home so it’s not so much of a lions’ den to me,” said Wales’ Selby, 31.

“The title is world champion. I should be ready to defend my title anywhere in the world. The support is irrelevant, it’s just another defence to me, another fight.”

Selby – boasting 26 wins and one loss – glared at Warrington when the challenger swiped his hand away as the pair posed for head-to-head photos at Tuesday’s news conference.

His camp insist he has had the “greatest preparation” during training trips to Los Angeles, with trainer Tony Borg adamant Selby will “thrive” on the night.

‘Radebe, Kaiser Chiefs and destiny’

Former Leeds captain Lucas Radebe will accompany Warrington on his ring walk

Champion Selby stayed quiet during exchanges, with Warrington more vocal throughout the final news conference for a fight he says represents a dream.

Former Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe – nicknamed ‘The Chief’ – will lead Warrington to the ring, while local band Kaiser Chiefs are also set to perform.

Addressing his rival, Warrington said: “Carry on with your pictures with that belt this week because it’s staying here pal.

“Over the years he has said I won’t get to his level and I’m an average fighter. It will be embarrassing for him to lose his title to an average fighter, won’t it?

“I feel this is meant to be. I talk a lot about destiny. A few years ago I was meant to fight for a world title and it didn’t come off.

“Anything could have happened in those couple of years but it has come round in a way I have always dreamed and planned. I’ve always said I’d love to fight for a world title at Elland Road, I always said I’d have the Chief there and now Kaiser Chiefs play too.

“It’s all fallen into place. All I have to do now is get in the ring and do the business and Leeds will have its first world champion.”

Warrington has not lost in 26 bouts and his promoter Frank Warren also emphasised Selby will face a “really hostile environment”.

Warren says 25,000 are expected at the football stadium and believes the winner could go on to face Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton in another bout British fight fans have talked up over recent years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *