Joel Brunker looks back on Selby loss, future plans and more

EVERY fighter deals with loss differently.

For Joel Brunker, the much needed albeit short lived time away from boxing was well spent. The Richmond resident got married, went on holiday and used the break to reflect.

Now pencilled in for a hometown return, a refreshed and clearly rejuvenated Brunker is ready to launch his second assault at world title honours, starting with Rey Las Pinas (19-10-5, 11 KOs) on February 13th.

“Since turning professional all I have wanted to do was fight for a world title,” said Brunker in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing. “Suffering my first loss in my last fight was hard, because I fell one fight short of achieving my goal of fighting for a world title.”

“Naturally I was extremely disappointed, but one loss means nothing. I will be getting back on track with a hometown fight on February 13th,”

“After that, I’m looking to head back to have some big name fights in America,”

“The fight against Selby was tough after a fourteen month layoff, but I learnt a lot from the fight and I’m using this loss to motivate me to work harder to secure a world title shot.”

Amazingly, suffering the lone blemish on his professional record lead many amongst Brunker’s large following on social media to thoughts of what would be a premature retirement. Despite the loss – Brunker has made it clear –
he has no immediate plans of hanging up his gloves.

“I will not be retiring,” Brunker reiterated. “I don’t give up that easily and I will work my way back to secure a title shot.”

In his last outing, Brunker was effectively outclassed by a fast-rising Lee Selby, who was clearly the better fighter on the night. While there is no denying Brunker’s effort in the ninth round stoppage loss, the formerly world rated featherweight understands his shortcomings from the biggest night of his career.

“I have always been a pressure come forward fighter and this would help me break down opponents – but with Selby being such an awkward fighter – it was hard to land punches,” said Brunker. “The fight was what I needed to learn from and make adjustments to my fight style.”

“I want to keep taking these tough opponents to improve my boxing ability and chase a world title shot in the future.”

Despite his optimism that the longest layoff of his career was for the better going into the Selby fight, Brunker stands by his initial thoughts, stating ring rust was something he didn’t feel during his arduous training camp.

“In preparation I didn’t feel it had, but once I got in the ring I felt a lot of ring rust,” he continued. “It was good to get back in the ring with a top fighter and see where I am at, but without using inactivity as an excuse I wasn’t at my best that night.”

“There is no doubt Selby was better on the night and deserved to win, Selby is such a big featherweight and the way he fights is so awkward it works in his favour, as he is really hard to land punches on.”

In hindsight, Brunker (now 27-1, 15 KOs) insists he has improved as a fighter. Progression is something that all fighters experience and a loss against a potentially elite level featherweight is something that Brunker believes will only benefit him in future fights.

“Experience is something you can’t get in the gym, you only get it by taking the bigger fights. I fought a top fighter and learned more about myself in that fight than my twenty-seven previous fights,” said Brunker in closing. “The fight for me was a measuring stick to see where I am at against one of the top guys in the division,”

“I will make adjustments to my fight style and continue to look to secure these bigger fights.”

Photo: Geoff Jones/Hawkesbury Gazette



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