Joel Brunker primed for final eliminator with Lee Selby

AFTER years of waiting in the wings and having had multiple tilts fall through, Joel Brunker is only one win away from securing an ever elusive world title fight.

Brunker (27-0, 15 KOs), 28, will face fellow prospect Lee Selby (19-1, 7 KOs) on October 11th on a stacked Matchroom bill from the O2 Arena in London. The twelve round fight will serve as an official final eliminator for the IBF featherweight title, which is currently held by Evgeny Gradovich – the man who famously dethroned Billy Dib.

“This is what my team has been striving for ever since I turned professional six years ago. I have been waiting patiently for my opportunity to have a shot at the title,” said Brunker in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing.

“I am one fight away from a world title shot and I am going to give this fight everything I have.”

Selby, 27, will go into the fight as the favourite, having held the British, Commonwealth and European featherweight titles in addition to the WBC International featherweight strap.

The Welshman came to notoriety for picking up impressive scalps domestically, including upset wins over Stephen Smith before easily disposing of John Simpson, Martin Lindsay and former world title challenger Rendall Munroe.

The most notable name on Selby’s record from an Australian perspective is Corey McConnell, who Selby stopped in five one-sided rounds last year.

“I had a few sparring sessions with Selby at the Mayweather Gym a couple of years ago, but I expect him to be different to what he was back then,” explained Brunker of his previous dealings with Selby. “He was a big and powerful featherweight with a long reach. He has been in the ring with some talented fighters, but I believe I will be the biggest test for him and we will see who the better fighter is after twelve rounds.”

“Obviously he has home ground advantage, but like Daniel Geale, I am not afraid to go into their back yard with the odds stacked up against me,” Brunker continued.

“I have always said I will not back away from any challenge and I think travelling to London in Selby’s back yard for a world title eliminator proves that.”

By the time Brunker enters the ring – it will have been almost fourteen months between fights – the longest break of Brunker’s professional career. In spite of this, Brunker believes it will be an advantage, as he has rested his body from an otherwise arduous schedule of constant activity since making his debut.

“Most people including Selby’s team will see my inactivity as a positive for them. It has been good to take a break from boxing and give my body a much needed rest. I feel fresh and have been training and sparring better than ever.”

In addition to this, Brunker believes the fact that Selby is mandated to fight him will work in his favour. Although Selby’s resume is respectable and filled with credible opponents, Brunker believes Selby is yet to face a contender of his own ability.

“Selby’s team didn’t choose me, I was the highest ranked featherweight in the IBF, so technically I chose myself. I do think they are thinking my inactivity makes me an easy target, but we will see when the bell rings.”



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