By Ian S Palmer
Lee Selby of Wales will be defending his IBF World Featherweight Championship for the fourth time this Saturday, December 9th when he takes on unbeaten Eduardo Ramirez of Mexico at the Copper Box Arena in London, England. The 12-round bout can be seen live in the U.S. on Showtime YouTube while fans in the UK can catch all of the action live on BoxNation. Selby’s last outing was in July when he beat Jonathan Victor Barros by a unanimous decision. Ramirez was last in the ring in September when he fought to a 10-round draw with Leduan Barthelemy.
Selby won the crown by beating Evgeny Gradovich by technical decision in May of 2015. His first defence was a 12-round unanimous decision over Fernando Montiel and his second defence was against Eric Hunter in a fight he won by unanimous decision. He then beat Barros earlier this year. Selby’s a solid pro, but naysayers feel he hasn’t proven himself against top opposition as of yet and they won’t be too thrilled with the level of opponent this Saturday either.
The 30-year-old Selby enters the ring at 25-1 with 9 Kos and he’s won his last 21 contests. Selby should be confident heading into this fight after winning and defending the title a few times already, but can’t afford take Ramirez lightly. There’s no hiding the fact Selby doesn’t offer much in the way of power with only nine stoppages to his name for a knockout ratio of just 35 per cent. Selby stands just over 5-feet-8-inches tall with a 69.5-inch reach and has fought 195 rounds since turning pro in 2008.
Selby’s lone defeat came against Samir Mouneimne via a four-round decision back in 2009. Other than Barros, Gradovich, Hunter, Montiel and Rendall Munroe, the champion hasn’t really fought anybody in the Grade A level. He won the title when Gradovich couldn’t continue after eight rounds in their bout because of a cut over his eye which was caused by an accidental clash of heads. The bout went to the scorecards with Selby ahead by a wide margin on tall three scorecards.
Selby’s beaten everybody he’s faced in the past six years so it’s hard to knock him. His opponent on Saturday is a southpaw who has a near-perfect record of 20-0-3 with 7 Kos. The 24-year-old Ramirez turned pro back in 2010 and has boxed 127 rounds since then. Ramirez is also a light puncher with a knockout ratio of 29 per cent, so there’s certainly a good chance this fight will go all 12 rounds. Ramirez has an unlisted height and reach so it’s tough to compare the size of the two fighters.
What we do know about Ramirez is that he’s also fought to an eight-round draw with Jesus Quintero in 2013 and a four-round draw with Mario Munoz in 2011. It’s hard to find any recognizable opponents on Ramirez’s resume and he didn’t have much of an amateur career. He’s young and has some skills though as well as a solid chin. He’s basically been brought in as a non-threatening opponent for Selby, but could give the champions some problems.
Selby and Ramirez are both light punchers, but their boxing skills are underrated by most. Selby has the edge here in experience and if he outworks Ramirez he should retain his title, likely by decision.