For 126-pound champ Lee Selby, defeating Eric Hunter would be sweet in more ways than one

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Lee Selby has one sweet post-fight plan after he takes care of Eric Hunter on Saturday at the O2 Arena in London: a slice or three of cheesecake.

Lee Selby and Fernando Montiel

Lee Selby cracks Fernando Montiel with a left hook during their October fight in Arizona. Selby defeated Montiel to retain his 126-pound title, which will be on the line Saturday against Eric Hunter in London. (Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions)

Selby (22-1, 8 KOs) has been in training since before the new year, and as such he believes he has never been in better shape heading into the second defense of his 126-pound title (Showtime, 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT). But his sweet tooth is calling, and the 29-year-old Welshman can’t wait to get Eric Hunter (21-3, 11 KOs) out of the way so he can pick up his fork and dig in.

“First thing I’m looking forward to is shutting Hunter up, as he clearly has a mouth a lot bigger than his talent. And the second thing, a piece or two or even three of cheesecake,” Lee Selby says. “Some fighters like to go on holiday after a contest, others will go out and [buy] a big car, but just give me some cheesecake.”

Hunter will be returning to the O2 Arena for the first time since defeating Evgeny Gradovich in May to claim his first world title. He’ll have 20,000 U.K. fans in his corner for this bout against Hunter, a Philadelphia native who is riding a four-fight winning streak—and whose pre-fight trash talk has clearly irked the champion.

“Hunter has got a big gob, but can he box to the level I have been for many years? I don’t think so,” Selby says. “I don’t think he is rubbish, as his record is a good one, but I have boxed at a different level to him, and I will make it count. And also, I can celebrate afterward by eating cheesecake all night long. It’s got to be worth it for that alone.”

Selby overcame Fernando Montiel (54-5-2, 39 KOs) in his last fight in October in Glendale, Arizona, winning a wide unanimous decision. But he was only partially satisfied with his performance against the former three-division world champion.

“I did good in parts and not so good in others, and I think a lot of that was because of the quality of my opponent. Hunter is a strong fighter but nothing like Montiel,” Selby says. “With Montiel, I had to take my time and work him out, which I did, but I plan to be a lot more aggressive from the first bell against Hunter.

“I really want to impose myself at the start, like I did in winning the world title against Evgeny Gradovich. That was a really pleasing display, and I want the same again.”

Selby’s trainer, Tony Borg, believes such a display will be possible come Saturday, as he insists he has never seen the fighter from Barry, Wales, in better condition in his pro career.

“Lee has a sweet tooth, for sure, but all the joking will end when he steps in the ring,” Borg says. “We took this fight very seriously from Day One, and Lee has been in the gym since Christmas so there have been absolutely no weight issues at all.

“There is nothing we have seen in Hunter which makes us think anything other than Lee will be holding his arm up in the air at the end of the night. I think he is going to put on a real show in London, and a lot of fight fans are going to see the best featherweight in the world in action.”

Says Selby: “I like a laugh and a joke, but it took hard work and years of dedication to win the world title, and I’m not going to throw it away. I plan on being around for a long, long time.”

For complete coverage of Selby vs Hunter, check out our fight page.

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