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Lee Selby vs. Evgeny Gradovich – A Welshman and A Russian Hear London Calling

Lee Selby Steven Paston/Action Images
Steven Paston/Action Images

Welsh Featherweight Lee Selby (20-0, 8 KOs) took to social media recently to confirm that he has agreed to do battle with IBF Featherweight Champion Evgeny Gradovich (19-0, 9 KOs) on April 25 at the O2 Arena in London.

This long awaited showdown has seemed a mere formality for quite some time now, but it is still unknown why it has taken so long to get it over the line.

Luckily, it appears that both top tier Featherweights are finally going to face off, but who would come out the victor in the battle between the Welsh Slickster and the Mexican Russian?

Since he surprisingly lost his undefeated record back in 2009 at the hands of Samir Mouneimne, Selby has flourished within the British and European Featherweight scene. T

he Welsh Dragon shot to prominence with an astonishing sixth-round knockout victory over promising Liverpudlian Stephen Smith and has maintained his meteoric rise towards the summit of the Featherweight Division.

The charismatic Welshman is renowned for his urban swagger as well as his ultra-slick boxing ability, which has seen his stock ascend considerably within boxing circles. Nevertheless, many still predict that the 28-year-old’s seemingly impregnable style is in fact very much pregnable, all it takes is a relentless pressure fighter to unsettle the untested Selby.

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Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Could Gradovich be that man?

The undefeated Gradovich hails from the Motherland of Russia, but just like the many Russian fighters who have preceded him, he now resides in the US under the tutelage of renowned trainer Robert Garcia.

Under Garcia’s guidance, the 28-year-old has achieved what every fighter dreams of, becoming a world champion.

The Mexican Russian won a tight decision against Billy Dib for the IBF Featherweight title back in 2013, which he later rectified when he bamboozled Dib in 9 rounds a few months later.

Despite this, a contentious draw last time out, has saw Gradovich’s legitimacy at the top of the Featherweight division somewhat questioned.

So can Lee Selby end Evgeny Gradovich’s ruthless reign as the IBF Featherweight champion or is the man from Barry in for a very long evening indeed?

A tight contest is almost guaranteed on April 25. However, Selby’s capability to evade punches while tagging opponents off guard like Floyd Mayweather, could ultimately pay dividends on the night, tipping the scales in his favour.

Although, the jury is still out on Selby, can he cope with the relentless pressure of a highly ranked Featherweight hunting him down the ring?

Well, after months of waiting, the boxing world will finally have their answer come April 25.

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