Welshman Lee Selby saw his hopes of fighting for a second world title taken away from him by unbeaten Australian George Kambosos Jr.
Kambosos Jr was awarded the fight via split decision with scores of 118-110 and 116-112 in favour of the Australian and 115-114 to Selby.
The opening rounds were very hard to score and was very much tit for tat. Every time one fighter landed a good shot the other would fire back and the early goings were very even. Despite the expectations being that Kambosos would bulrush his way in early and test Selby’s steel it didn’t pan out like that neither man really found their range and it was a cagey opening.
Kambosos was showing patience which was not expected and Selby was struggling to land much failing to get his range down, neither fighter landed much clean in the middle rounds but it seemed like the Australian was nicking the action by being the busier fighter and looking for combinations rather than the single shots that the Welshman was throwing.
By the eighth the action was swaying in the favour of the away fighter and the former IBF Featherweight champion Selby had swelling under the right eye. Kambosos landed a nice right hand that seemed to hurt Selby, but the Welshman fired back before the eighth was brought to an abrupt end after only two minutes just as the round was warming up.
The ninth and tenth seemed to go the Kambosos way as well. However, neither fighter was stamping their authority on the contest, Kambosos came forward and was the aggressor whereas Selby moved well and was looking for counters. It did feel like Selby may have to meet fire with fire a little more and roll the dice for victory.
The eleventh and the twelfth also went the way of the unbeaten Kambosos and as the final bell rang, this time on the three-minute mark, Kambosos threw his arms aloft and celebrated what he felt was a clear win. It was a much quieter, subdued look from Selby who silently shuffled back to his corner and awaited the result. The scores were read out and a split decision was awarded to the Kambosos Jr.
For Selby it was heartbreak, his lingering hopes of being the first Welsh boxer to hold world titles in two different weight classes took a massive dent tonight and whilst they are not over and done with it’s hard to envisage him being presented with the opportunity in the future.
For Kambosos the long journey to London was a huge success, he comes away as the mandatory challenger to unified lightweight superstar Teofimo Lopez and talked about getting the title fight with Lopez in Melbourne at some point next year.