Lee Selby says rival Josh Warrington is 'running scared'

Lee Selby
Lee Selby beat Eric Hunter in his last title defence

Lee Selby says potential opponent Josh Warrington is "running scared", after the pair failed to find an agreement for a summer fight.

IBF world champion Selby says he was willing to take less than 75% of the purse and to fight in Warrington's hometown, but talks have broken down.

"This is a simple case of one fighter, Josh Warrington, losing his bottle at the thought of facing me," said Selby.

"The fact is the fight was there to be made, but this is the end of the saga."

Selby, who made a second successful defence of his crown last month with a unanimous points win over American Eric Hunter, had told the BBC he thought a fight with Warrington needed to be made "now or never".

"There is surely nothing worse than a boxer talking the talk, telling all his fans this is what he wants to happen, then pulling out?" Selby said.

"It has happened many times before in boxing and unfortunately it has happened again as Josh Warrington is running scared.

"The excuse is he wants to get married towards the end of August and needs to concentrate on that. I've heard some pretty feeble reasons before for running away from a fight but that's a new one even on me."

Josh Warrington
Josh Warrington has been calling for a fight with Lee Selby for over 18 months

Selby, who won the IBF title a year ago, has already defended his title in the US against Fernando Montiel and was seeking a UK test this summer. His rivalry with Warrington heated up after the Yorkshire boxer described Selby as 'boring.'

"I was more than happy to give Warrington a better than 25% stake of the purse as he would not have been my mandatory challenger, but even that didn't bring him to the negotiating table," he said.

"I was looking forward to the challenge of silencing Warrington's Leeds fans. I would have taken him apart because I belong on a different level to him.

"To all the Warrington fans in and around Leeds, I can only say I'm sorry the fight isn't going ahead, but the blame for that isn't mine.

"I was happy to come to Leeds to fight their man, but Josh Warrington doesn't want anything to do with me in a ring. Those are the simple facts. Warrington's supporters can draw their own conclusions.

"As far as I'm concerned that's the end of the Selby v Warrington saga. I will now move on to the big fights and biggest tests in the featherweight division. His only chance of facing me is to get into my mandatory position and then he can take his 25% split of the purse."

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