You may not have heard of Lee Selby (18-1, 7 KO) yet, but he and his promoter Eddie Hearn are trying to change that. On Saturday, Selby will take on Romulu Koasicha (21-3, 12 KO) at Motorpoint Arena in Selby's native Wales.
The bout will be for Selby's WBC international featherweight title, but the belt is secondary in this bout. It's not a world championship, and that's what Selby has his sights set on.
If Selby has his way, this will be a stepping stone to bigger and better things in the future. That said, he must not look beyond the tough and determined 23-year-old Mexican.
Koasicha has made it clear, he's coming to fight. Here's how you can catch the action.
When: Saturday, May 17, at 3 p.m. ET
Where: Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales
TV: Sky Sports
Live Stream: AWE
The Book on Selby
Having won 14 fights in a row, and coming off an impressive stoppage win over veteran Rendall Munroe, Selby's stock is high. Hearn talked in a recent announcement, via ESPN, about Selby's current run and plans:
"He put in a great performance against Munroe in a sold out arena in Cardiff and he can’t wait to get back there. He is nicely poised in the rankings and the plan is to be the mandatory challenger by the close of the year.”
Becoming a mandatory challenger would obviously put Selby in line to fight for his first world title. But Hearn doesn't seem to simply want Selby to tip-toe his way to a title shot. He's got his eye on a rather big fish for Selby's next fight.
Per Riath Al-Samarrai of The Daily Mail, Hearn said:
I really like Nonito Donaire next for Selby. There are talks of him moving up to featherweight and we could make that as a final eliminator for a shot at Jhonny Gonzalez, the WBC champion.
I have reached out to Top Rank and it is a fight I’d love to make.
That is an intriguing bout, but could all the talk about future opponents lead to a complacent performance on Saturday? If it does, Selby could be in for a tough night.
The Book on Koasicha
Is Koasicha the most overlooked man in Selby's world? He could be. Despite being two years shy of his 25th birthday, Koasicha has already had 24 professional fights. That's five more than the 27-year-old Selby.
Koasicha hasn't been in the ring with elite fighters, but in watching his fights, it's clear he has some skills and decent fundamentals. That said, he's not extraordinarily fast, and he appears to be only an average puncher.
Koasicha is taking a big step. Not only is he clearly taking on the best opponent of his career, but it's also the first time he will have fought outside of Mexico.
Handling the pro-Selby crowd will require an adjustment, as will fighting an opponent who is ready, willing and able to box, as opposed to slugging it out.
Matchroom Boxing writes: "Koasicha will not have seen a boxer with the style and awkwardness of Selby."
Per Gareth Rogers of Wales Online, Koasicha talked about his scouting of Selby.
"We’ve seen a few videos of Selby. He’s a good boxer with a lot of technique; he knows how to manage distance and punches hard for the featherweight division. But we have the strategy to fight and win."
Koasicha could find himself bewildered by Selby's movement, and unable to touch his opponent for long stretches of the fight. Needless to say, that would make for one really long night in Wales.
There's a reason Hearn is already talking about the likes of Donaire and Gonzalez as future opponents for Selby. Koasicha's lack of movement makes him a relatively simple assignment for Selby.
This is boxing and anything can happen, but Selby should be able to easily outpoint Koasicha en route to a clear unanimous-decision win.
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