Eduardo Ramirez made him work for it, but in the end Lee Selby was able to close strong with a dominant 12th round, and did enough superior work throughout the fight to score a decision win and retain his IBF featherweight title.
Selby (26-1, 9 KO) won on scores of 116-112, 118-110, and 119-109. BLH had it 115-113 for Selby, seeing this as a hard-earned win against a determined opponent. Ramirez loses for the first time as a pro, dropping to 20-1-3 (7 KO).
Selby, 30, won wider than we saw on two scorecards, but the victory was deserved, and outside of the fact that some good work by the 24-year-old Ramirez seems to have been all but ignored by two judges, there’s no controversy here.
Ramirez, who missed weight and thus couldn’t win the belt even had he won the fight, made a fight of this, and made Selby earn it. Selby and his team didn’t enter the 12th and final round as if the fight was in the big, and Selby fought like a man who needed those three minutes, going far more aggressive than his usual approach, and sealing it to leave as little doubt as possible.
It turned out he ultimately didn’t need those three minutes, but one gets the feeling that Selby wasn’t as certain as two of the judges that he had the fight in firm control.
“I thought it was a decent performance against a very, very tough, game Mexican fighter,” Selby said after the fight.
He also addressed his IBF mandatory challenger, Josh Warrington, who may be next up for Selby.
“It’s a massive fight. Josh Warrington has earned the mandatory position,” he said. “To get there, he has to be a good fighter. A fight between Josh and I would be massive and fantastic for British boxing.”