Richard Quiñones (Journeymen Boxing) – Lee Selby endured an early knockdown, but was able to recover and handle Eric Hunter en route to retaining his IBF featherweight crown courtesy of a 12-round unanimous decision Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London.
Selby (23-1, 8ko’s) was floored late in the second round when Hunter countered a Selby miss with a gorgeous left hook that landed flush on Selby’s jaw, sending him crashing to the canvas immediately. However, the Welshman was able to bounce back up onto his feet, gather himself, and dominate from there as he would get the better of the 29-year-old native of Philadelphia, PA.
“It was a flash knockdown, and I wasn’t hurt—more shocked really,” Selby said. “I was going backward, so the momentum of the punch was what really sent me down. I got back up straight away and never felt hurt or in danger. “Mind you, he was a good puncher and a good fighter, and was rightly the No. 1 challenger.”
The juges scored it 115-111, 116-110 and 116-110.
Hunter (21-4, 11ko’s) was clearly irked by the decision as he stormed out of the ring after the result was announced.
Referee Marcus McDonnell did not help Hunter much during the fight, as he warned the challenger several times for low blows — some warranted — others questionable. However, McDonnell’s presence was enough to get under Hunter’s skin as he was caught by cameras several times shaking his head and barking back at McDonnell between rounds.
Hunter had two very solid rounds late, the 10th and the 12th rounds, but Selby proved the more active and accurate fighter, often beating Hunter to the punch with his quick jab and thunderous rights that seemed to land all night long.
JMB had it 115-111 in favor of Selby, who did not posses the same hand speed and power that his opponent did.
Hunter started to rattled a bit in the third round, when he threw a couple of low blows, which prompted stern warnings from McDonnell.
After several warnings, Hunter was deducted a point in the eighth round, and in the ninth round, Hunter was given a final warning after another low blow.
Hunter found some success early on the fight, when he tangled with Selby in the middle of the ring. He took some hard shots, because he most fought with his hands down by his sides, doing a good job of anticipating Selby’s punches, which led him to get caught.
But, he never suffered any real damage and was never ever in danger of getting knocked down during the fight.
In the end, though, Selby threw more punches and landed them with more regularity for the margin of victory.