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Martin vs Joshua: Lee Selby overcomes early scare, retains IBF title with win over Eric Hunter

Lee Selby had to come off the canvas, but he got the job done against Eric Hunter.

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Lee Selby successfully defended the IBF featherweight title today with a win over Philadelphia's Eric Hunter, but had a bit of a scare early in the fight, and had to come off the canvas for the first time in his career to get the decision win.

Selby was dropped hard in the second round on a counter left hook from Hunter, and was on unsteady legs for the rest of the round, but from there, he developed something of a rhythm, and carefully boxed his way to victory on scores of 115-111, 116-110, and 116-110. BLH also had it 116-110.

Selby (23-1, 8 KO) was also helped at least somewhat by an intrusive performance from referee Marcus McDonnell, who repeatedly warned Hunter (21-4, 11 KO) for low blows, eventually taking a point away from him in the eighth round, just as Hunter seemed to be developing his own consistent attack. Hunter, who has been disqualified twice in his career, reacted pretty emotionally, and there's some argument that McDonnell was harsh, as the called low blows were generally borderline at worst, and none of them seemed at all intentional.

But either way, Selby just had the better plan of attack in too many rounds, and Hunter's own lack of work rate was his real biggest issue in the fight. He allowed Selby to too easily win many of the rounds. When Hunter did work, he looked every bit Selby's equal, but he didn't work enough.

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