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PBC on ESPN results: Lee Selby retains IBF belt with win over Fernando Montiel

Lee Selby wasn't at his best tonight, but got past a tougher than anticipated challenge from Fernando Montiel.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Whether it was nerves for his American debut or just an off-night, Lee Selby didn't look as sharp tonight as he has in recent bouts, but the Welshman retained his IBF featherweight title anyway with a clear decision victory over Fernando Montiel in Arizona.

Selby (22-1, 8 KO) dictated the tempo in the early rounds, using his jab and youthful legs to hold the undersized, aged Montiel at bay. But Montiel, a former titleholder at 112, 115, and 118 pounds, never gave up on the fight, and wound up giving Selby some trouble in the middle rounds.

In the fifth, Montiel (54-5-2, 39 KO) landed some hard blows on Selby, exposing some holes in his defense. Montiel's confidence picked up from there, and in the sixth he was more aggressive, grabbing the momentum and cutting Selby in the process.

But Selby bounced back nicely from there, and controlled the second half of the fight. The cut never became a serious issue, and Selby was able to throttle Montiel's bursts of offense, again fighting effectively behind his jab. He looked sharper in some of the late rounds than he did earlier in the fight, and Montiel just didn't have the size or power to really do significant damage. Montiel did fight for the knockout in the 12th round, which was all one can ask of a fighter in that situation, and while he's no featherweight, he didn't look like a shot fighter, merely one past his prime and fighting heavy.

Official scores for the fight were 116-112, 118-110, and 119-109, all for Selby. BLH had it 117-111 for Selby.

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