By Ian S Palmer
Lee Selby of Wales will be defending his IBF World Featherweight Championship for the third time this Saturday, January 28th when he takes on former WBA World Champion Jonathan Victor Barros of Argentina at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout can be seen live on Showtime Extreme in the U.S. and on Sky Sports 1 in the UK. Selby last fought in April when he defeated Eric Hunter by unanimous decision. Barros was last in action in October when he beat Satoshi Hosono by split decision. 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 Hunter.
The 28-year-old Selby enters the ring with a record of 23-1 with 8 Kos and he’s won his last 19 contests. Selby should be confident heading into this fight after winning and defending the title a couple of times already, but can’t afford to take Barros There’s no hiding the fact that Selby doesn’t offer much in the way of power with just eight stoppages to his name for a knockout ratio of just 33 per cent. Selby stands just over 5-feet-8-inches with a reach of 69.5 inches. He’s fought 174 rounds since turning pro back in 2008.
Selby’s lone defeat came against Samir Mouneimne via a four-round decision back in 2009. Other than Gradovich, Hunter, Montiel and Rendall Munroe, the champion hasn’t really fought anyone of note though. He won the title when Gradovich couldn’t continue after eight rounds in their title bout because of a cut over his eye which was caused by an accidental clash of heads. The bout went to the scorecards and Selby was ahead by a wide margin on the cards of all three judges. However, Selby’s beaten everybody he’s faced in the past six years so it’s hard to knock him.
The 32-year-old veteran Barros will climb into the ring with a record of 41-4-1 with 22 Kos. He’s boxed 276 rounds since turning pro in 2004 so has the edge in experience. His height and reach is unlisted by BoxRec, so we’re not sure of his size, but his knockout ratio currently stands at 48 per cent. His four losses have been to Yuriorkis Gamboa in a world title fight by unanimous decision in 2010. He also dropped unanimous decisions to Celestino Caballero in 2011 and Juan Carlos Salgado in 2012 in world title fights and was stopped by Mikey Garcia in the eighth round in 2012.
He lost three bouts in a stretch of four fights at the time. Barros won the vacant WBA Featherweight Title in 2010 with a seventh-round TKO in 2010. He then defended it against Miguel roman and Caballero before losing it to Caballero in a rematch in 2011. His loss against Salgado in 2012 was for the Super Featherweight Crown. Barros’ other top wins have been against Victor Hugo Paz, Carlos Rodriguez and Hosono.
Barros has plenty of experience and a solid chin whereas Selby is regarded as one of the division’s lightest hitters. However, Selby’s boxing skills are underrated by most at this stage of his career. Barros opponents over the past few years have been more of the Grade B level at that may hurt him. Selby has the edge if the fight goes the distance while Barros has the edge if it turns into a brawl. Let’s go with Selby by decision in this one.