“When we have reached the depths of despair, only then can we look up and see the light of hope” ― Stephen Richards.
A troublesome couple of years have plagued Welsh Flyweight Andrew Selby, the heartbreak felt from the loss of his mother and aunt was compounded further by court cases, a bad injury before culminating in the shock defeat in his WBC mandatory contest in Mexico.
|Name||Andrew Selby||Worawatchai Boonjan|
It doesn’t need me to state but as you can imagine it was a difficult time, to say the least, finding himself looking up from the abyss, Andrew will readily admit to feeling solitude, the very fabric of the close-knit family he had come to rely on had pulled and torn apart at the seams.
From Bad to Worse
The start of the two year spiral began with the split from his partner, the fall out of which would mean limited time with his beloved son, from there came the embroilment in a fracas with a taxi driver that led to a visit to the magistrate’s court only to be heaped on further by him having to pull out of a European title shot due to injury, fracturing his ankle whilst in training camp.
stressful but albeit strenuous all of this could be overcome knowing as he did that he had his heart and soul in his corner (His Mother), but like the switch of a light further heartbreak would snatch those away closest to him, he found himself lost at sea the last wave making sure that he would waver from the path laid out, defeat in his pursuit of the WBC title in Mexico acted as the final straw that broke the camels back.
Making a conclusion to the defeat, Selby told welsh reporter Ciaran Gibbons.
‘I went out there and didn’t think anything about altitude, We went out there just four days before and I just couldn’t breathe from the opening round’
In the early rounds Selby looked to be exhibiting the type of slickness against the unfancied Julio Cesar Martinez Aguilar that we have become accustomed to, winning rounds with ease, countering off the back foot but under the hood told a different story, he was suffering, his lungs gasping for air from the shortness of oxygen available at the altitude the fight was fought at, an altitude which Mexican fighters know only too well, the real reason for the use of their famed shots to the body, an act to further debilitate the opposition.
‘I’ve never been hurt by a body shot, if it winds you, you just have to show a poker face but I come back from round one and told my trainer (Tony Borg) that I couldn’t breathe, it was as if a vice was squeezing my lungs’ said Selby on his sole career loss ‘I threw a combinations and put my arms up, and out of nowhere, boom and I remember thinking to myself, now that’s a body shot, even after that moment, if the referee would have allowed the fight to continue, I couldn’t because I just couldn’t breath’
The month’s that followed found uncertainty in Selby regarding his future aspirations, for a period he looked all but done with boxing, no longer did it bring him enjoyment as he slipped or was in fear of slipping further into the realms of depression.
An Outstretched Hand
An intervention was needed, coming from an unlikely source as the outstretched hand that was met by one of Wales’ most gifted talents was the helping hand that belonged to former GB teammate/foe Daniel Chapman.
‘I was at a mates house when Daniel was at the door, basically, he dragged me by the ear and said you’re coming to live with me’
A move in training camp ensued, moving an hour and a half west to Maesteg, the catalyst that would ignite a slow burn into a raging inferno as the desire returned for the World titles that were once promised of him.
Daniel is rightly given the plaudits for exacting change, looking on from afar he couldn’t bear to see such a talented individual dwell into insignificance, knowing first hand the skillset he possessed from having shared countless sparring sessions with the man he now guides.
It was a bond that was forged from a time the two would compete for a place in the GB team, Selby is seldom impressed easily these days which comes possibly from having seen countless fighting styles in his time as an amateur, but that being said he makes time to give props to his former nemesis, remarking primarily on the power which Daniel supposedly had in spades, thankfully says Selby, Chapman would make the decision to move up in division, allowing a safer route to the top as the best in the worlds flyweight division, proving the notion correct throughout an amateur career that amassed close to 300 contests.
The Hunger Returns
Months can be a long time in the boxing industry, the landscape ever-changing which most certainly applies in this instance, Now signed to MTK Global in an advisory capacity, the Battle lines have once again been drawn with the highly decorated amateur ready to embark on his hunt for World titles immediately or even a shot at the European strap with the winner from Jay Harris’ title defence against Paddy Barnes an intriguing possibility.
‘If I fight for a world title today, I think I would win it’ when asked the question by Ciaran Gibbons ‘Thats how confident I am’ Selby replies ‘ I’ve never been a confident fighter but Daniel as got that out of me, I feel two or three fights, after January I want a world title fight, or a European title shot if Jay Harris still got it, a Welsh showdown, but I want them all’
Having already handily beaten former World champion, Christofer Rosales, there is no getting away from the fact that with a newfound focus, it puts the cat amongst the pigeons in a division which is heating up nicely.
Before getting to that point of course, he will first have to deal with the initial step of Worawatchai Boonjan (14-22-2, 13KO) which will be presented to him in the serene setting of Caesars Palace in Dubai tonight (Friday), then and only after will we truly know if he is ready to reclaim the spot in the division once promised to him.
Full Interview courtesy of Ciaran Gibbons of Gibbons Talks Boxing