AUSTRALIA’s horror run in major fights abroad continued as previously unbeaten Joel Brunker became the latest Australian to fall by the wayside, being stopped in nine one-sided rounds by talented Welshman Lee Selby in London.
Brunker, 28, put in a gutsy effort, but showed signs of ring rust throughout their scheduled twelve-round fight. Selby, 27, was effective off the back foot as well as the rare occasions where he moved forward, tagging Brunker several times with thumping blows – most notably in the third and fifth rounds.
The fight was called off in the ninth by referee Marcus McDonnell when Brunker was trapped in the corner – where he spent a majority of the round – while Selby teed off on the now once-beaten Australian.
Selby landed several unanswered hooks before Brunker, who was seated on the ropes, was saved from any further punishment. To his credit, Brunker (now 27-1, 15 KOs) did not dispute the stoppage and acted like the typical sportsman he is throughout.
When interviewed outside of the ring shortly after the fight, the brash Selby was full of words for both his performance, Brunker as well as his next challenge, which will come at the hands of reigning IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich next year.
“No, I don’t think so,” said Selby (now 20-1, 8 KOs) post-fight when he was asked if Brunker brought the best out of him.
“I think there’s still a lot more to come, once I bring my gym work and my sparring to the ring, you’ll see a true champion of the world who can mix it with any featherweight.”
“It (my performance) was good, but if you come down to the gym and see me spar – you’ll be shocked.”
“I passed it with flying colours and I’m going to do the exact same to Evgeny Gradovich. I think this fight was just as tough as a fight with Gradovich would be,” Selby continued. “I’ve had a bit of criticism by a few people, so I thought I’d put on a bit of a show tonight.”
“Full credit to Brunker, what a tough man,” said promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport. “He was 27-0, that was Lee Selby’s acid test and he just cruised through it. He’s ready to become a world champion.”
Photo: Scott Heavey/Getty Images Europe