Undefeated Australian boxing star ‘Aussie’ Joel Brunker takes on highly rated welsh prospect Lee Selby in a final eliminator for a shot at the IBF Featherweight world title on Saturday 11th October at the O2 arena in London.
The winner of the contest will be installed as the IBF’s mandatory challenger to current champion Evgeny Gradovich who overcame Brunker’s fellow countryman Billy Dib via a ninth round TKO victory last year.
Australians may well know Lee Selby for knocking out Cory McConnell in the fifth round of a scheduled twelve at Winter Gardens, Blackpool, England. However they will be hoping for a different outcome with a more experienced and undefeated talent. Superfit and tough seems to be the pre-requisite for boxers hailing from Australia and Joel Brunker has those qualities in abundance. He generally likes to be the aggressor and force the pace on the front foot and he has no shortage of knockout power.He has finished a number of his opponents of with some Ricky Hatton like vicious bodywork that is fast becoming his trademark. Bodywork could well be a key to success for him against selby. Selby has quick hands and feet in equal measure so some work in the early rounds to the body may pay dividends and help to slow his legs down.
Management and promotional issues have meant that Brunker has been largely inactive with his last fight being back in August 2013. It may be a slight concern to him that ring rust might undermine his performance although he will have had plenty of top quality sparring over in states where he has based his pre fight training camp.Selby has a long list of honours after progressing surely and steadily via the traditional route. The former British, Commonwealth and European champion has won all of his fights apart from a points loss that came very early in his career back in 2009 so the fighter from Barry, South Wales, has the confidence and conviction of an undefeated fighter. His slick movement and rapid fire combinations have bewildered many of his defeated opponents. Combine this with his prominent natural size and range advantages compared to most fighters in the featherweight division and you can see why he hasn’t lost a bout in five years. He has a dazzling finesse that makes him a real crowd pleaser, even if he only has a low knockout percentage.
For both boxers the opponent represents their toughest challenge yet in their professional boxing careers. They have both sparred together over in Las Vegas in the infamous Mayweather gym so both men will have some idea of the sort the style that they will be up against. On paper at least, the two styles should match up nicely for a really entertaining fight. Selby who has long been touted for world title glory will be expected to come through the test. However, there has been plenty of talk of world titles and of Gradovich from the Selby camp and that could be dangerous talk when you are still to face a hungry undefeated fighter with knockout power such as Joel Brunker