Lee Selby accuses Josh Warrington of 'bottling' world title shot

Lee Selby
Lee Selby has been IBF featherweight champions since May 2015 when he beat Evgeny Gradovich

IBF champion Lee Selby has accused featherweight rival Josh Warrington of 'bottling' a world title shot because it is so close to his August wedding.

Welshman Selby had hoped to fight his domestic rival before the end of July.

"If I was offered a title fight when I weren't a champion, I'd have divorced my wife to box for it," said Selby.

"I'd have put it on hold. I think he's just bottled it. He's missed his chance. The only chance he's got now is becoming the mandatory challenger."

Selby, who has defended his IBF world featherweight titles twice since winning it in May 2015, added: "I've seen reports their plan now is to become mandatory, where they only take 25% of the purse. And I couldn't see him winning a final eliminator."

Josh Warrington
Josh Warrington retained his WBC international featherweight title with victory over Hisashi Amagasa in April

A fight between the two had been building as former European champion Warrington's career progressed, with the Leeds fighter saying he wanted to face Selby after he retained his WBC international featherweight title with victory over Hisashi Amagasa in April.

"The plan was to fight Warrington in Leeds at the end of July. That would have been a high-profile fight in the UK," Selby added.

"Carl Frampton's fighting Leo Santa Cruz (for the WBA featherweight title on 30 July), then we were hoping Frampton would win, and we'd fight each other in a unification match. The fight's simple to make.

"Warrington has been calling me out after every fight he has. Now the fight's presented to him, he's pulled out due to the fact he's getting married at the end of the following month."

The 25-year-old Warrington, who has also won the British and Commonwealth titles, had spoken of his desire to instead face Selby in 2017.

The IBF champion's plan is to instead face the winner of July's fight between Northern Ireland's Frampton and Mexico's Santa Cruz.

Top Stories