–Eric Hunter landed a big counter left hook in the second round that dropped 126-pound champion Lee Selby to the canvas and shocked the sold-out, pro-Selby crowd at O2 Arena in London.
–Selby quickly made it to his feet and fought back bravely, retaking control of the bout with a solid Round 3 in which he caught Hunter on numerous occasions with a piercing jab and rocket right hand—shots that would do a lot of damage the rest of the way.
–Over the latter half of the fight, Selby put his superior boxing skills on display and broke down the tough but outclassed Hunter, who was warned at least a half-dozen times for low blows, with referee Marcus McDonnell eventually deducting a point in the eighth round.
It wasn’t as easy or as pretty as he had hoped. And his backside hit the canvas for the first time in his professional career. But in the end, “Lightning” Lee Selby proved why he’s one of the top boxers in the loaded 126-pound division.
Fighting in front of a partisan, sold-out crowd in London’s 02 Arena, Selby (23-1, 8 KOs) rose from a second-round knockdown—the first of his career—and overcame several low blows Saturday to dominate Eric Hunter, winning a wide 12-round points decision to retain his 126-pound title.
The judges scored it 115-111 and 116-110 twice, a decision that clearly irked Hunter (21-4, 11 KOs), who stormed out of the ring after the result was announced.
Selby, 29, was in control for much of the bout, often beating Hunter to the punch and landing the crisper, more powerful shots. However, early on, it was a powerful shot by Hunter that looked like it might cost Selby his title in his second defense.
With a minute to go in Round 2, Hunter countered a Selby miss with a left hook that landed flush on the champion’s jaw and immediately sent him sprawling to the canvas, much to the shock of the crowd. If the punch truly hurt Selby, the Welshmen hid it well, immediately bouncing to his feet and reengaging Hunter as soon as the fight resumed.
Selby started to claw his way back into the contest with a solid third round, catching Hunter with a succession of right hands, although they seemed to have little effect on the 29-year-old Philadelphia native.
The fourth round was a far cagier affair as both boxers clearly had earned each other’s respect, but Selby really took control in the fifth as he detonated three clean right hands on Hunter’s jaw. Again, though, Hunter took the shots and came back for more.
It would be a scenario that would repeat several times down the stretch, with Selby proving the more active and accurate fighter. Hunter did have occasional flashes, particularly in the eighth and 10th rounds when he landed some clean shots, but he couldn’t overcome Selby’s superior boxing skills.
Hunter also struggled to stay within the strike zone, as he was warned multiple times by referee Marcus McDonnell for low blows. McDonnell eventually deducted a point from Hunter in the eighth, then put him on disqualification notice after another low shot in the ninth.
- Selby vs Hunter