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Q&A interview with Lee Selby as he gets set for US debut against Fernando Montiel

Credit: Lawrence Lustig

Featherweight titlist Lee Selby (21-1, 8 KOs) is nearing his U.S. debut against former world champion Fernando “Cochulito” Montiel (54-4-2, 39 KOs) as Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on ESPN comes to Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona Wednesday, October 14. Selby is looking to make an immediate impact and land the biggest fights out there. Here’s what the Welsh world champion had to say as he nears his U.S. debut:

How does it feel to be making your U.S. debut?

Lee Selby (LS): There are no different emotions this time. I’m just really excited and looking forward to putting on a great show like I always do. Training camp was pretty standard, so I don’t feel any different.

How long have you been training in California and why did you choose to train there?

LS: My manager has been coming to California for years to visit family. He made visits to a lot of the gyms here and realized that this was the place for me to train. It was his idea for me to come over and I’ve been training at Maywood Boxing Club for this fight. I came over just before Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares and trained for a couple weeks. Then I flew home for a few weeks before coming back to California in late September to finish things up. So I’ve been in the U.S. for about a month total training for this one, but I’ve been training in the U.S. for my last seven fights.

Is there anything that has surprised you about the U.S.?

LS: There’s a big difference between gyms back home and gyms here in the U.S. In California, all the fighters in the gym are hungry and tough, even the ones who haven’t had a professional fight. They’ll get in there and try to give you some good work. Back home it’s not the same atmosphere.

Is there anything you’re looking forward to getting once you go back to Wales that you can’t get in the U.S.?

LS: I’ll be ready for a big piece of cheesecake with my family and my daughter. She’s 14-months-old. And my girlfriend is pregnant, so she can’t travel. So I’ve got a lot waiting for me back home.

Who will be coming to Arizona for the fight?

LS: My team and some friends are traveling here for me.

Describe your style in the ring:

LS: I’m a boxer. I’ve try and stay disciplined. That’s the way to win championship fights. I can’t get pulled into a scrap.

What are your hobbies outside of boxing?

LS: I’ve been into hunting with foxes, but not so much lately. I’m a boxer and a family man these days. That takes up my time.

What do you know about your opponent? What are his strengths?

LS: He’s a former world champion with the definite experience advantage. But age is on my side. I should be younger and fresher.

If you get the victory on Oct. 14, who would you like to face next? Where do you see your career going from here?

LS: Hopefully I can win and look good. I’d like a big fight with a champion like Leo Santa Cruz. I’ve seen him mention my name and I’d like that fight.

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