The loss of a loved one can bring one to its knees or on occasion can act to elevate them further in honour of the memory, the sting of heartache still fresh from the loss of his mother who sadly passed away earlier in the week, IBF Featherweight champion Lee Selby produced the latter on Saturday night with a display fitting the occasion as he dissected the challenge of Jonathan Victor Barros at the Wembley Arena in London.
Suggestions of a cancellation was a prominent possibility but the Welshman batted away such sentiments when asked if he had considered the option, “No. I’m a fighter and whatever happens, I’ll still fight.”
The original bout was originally scheduled for January on the undercard to Leo Santa Cruz’s win over Carl Frampton at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas but due to Barros failing a blood test 15 minutes before the weigh in, the fight was forced to be rescheduled.
All it did was delay the inevitable, Selby on an emotional night was punch perfect from the opening bell, a cut from an unintentional headbutt the only blip in an otherwise faultless performance, one which was punctuated with a knockdown in the twelfth to take a wide unanimous decision.
One obstacle down, another harsher struggle lies ahead with the reality of his loss setting in, without the distraction of a big fight to help the grieving process.
“When I’m up here away from everything, it doesn’t seem right, like it hasn’t happened,” the fighter from Barry said in his dressing room afterwards.
“I’m going to try to enjoy this win as much as I can, and now I’ll drive home and face the harsh truth of what’s happened.
“The hardest part was having my younger brother call me early on Tuesday morning. He woke me up and told me the news.
“I had my older sister on the phone crying, all of us together crying and them telling me to come home.”
The decision was not one taken lightly but he found solace in being away from the South Wales Valleys momentarily.
“After I came off the phone, I switched it off, cut myself away from it, got on with the job, and told myself: ‘I’ll see them all when I get back,'” he said.
“If I told anyone, I would have been strapped up in a straitjacket. I got the win and I dedicate it to my mother.
“It’s been a tough week, I’ve tried to blank out what went on back at home.”
Let’s start with the elephant in the room, probably the most obvious as a frontrunner will be that of former World champion Carl Frampton, talks continue to intensify for a battle between the Celts, both men tend to agree that it is the next logical step and without the added drama of a promotional dispute, It should be an easy fight to make, barring no mishaps against Andres Gutierrez on the Belfast mans part.
“He probably fancies it now, it’s a fight I’d love, and all the British fans will love,” said Selby.
Other routes could involve, California’s Joseph Diaz Jr who is a crowd favourite in Southern Cali or a trip to the colder climates of Yorkshire for a bad blooded affair with Josh Warrington, alternatively there is Scott Quigg and lower down on the pecking order Kid Ghalahad. lies in wait also
“I’m happy to fight anyone,” Selby added. “I’ve got a world title belt and they fancy their chances and want to take it off me. I’m open to all offers.”
On leaving I think I speak for all in giving a massive amount of respect to Lee for conducting himself in the way he has over the last week whilst sending our thoughts and prayers to his family at this difficult time.