By Paul J Daley
Lee Selby (24-1, 9 KO’s) stepped through the ropes for the first time in 11 months on Saturday night, representing an end to a frustrating period of inactivity for the IBF champion at the O2 Arena in London.
Spaniard Andoni Gago (16-3-2, 5 KOs) was tasked with the assignment of containing those frustrations which took a turn for the worse as early as the first round from a hard left hook that dropped him to the canvas.
Gago a Spanish National Champion and recipient of the IBF International title to his credit showed bucket loads of heart in making his way through nine rounds before inevitably the stoppage came to put an end to the one sided nature of the contest.
The fight represented the final bout of Selby’s promotional agreement with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom boxing, becoming a free agent under the gaze of Al Haymon with avenues opening up in regards to a unification contest with WBA champ Leo Santa Cruz and an all British affair with former two weight world champion Carl Frampton all possibilities for the near future.
Selby does however have a obligation to his mandatory Jonathan Barrios which was previously cancelled at the 11th hour on the Frampton Vs Santa Cruz II card, although the bigger profile contests are higher on his agenda.
“I want to be in the ring with all three of Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares, in any order, either defending my title or in unification fights,” Selby explained.