'Carpe Diem' at London’s 02 Arena on Saturday was a fantastic boxing show with high points including a fight of the year contender between Wadi Camacho and Tony Conquest and the much-anticipated Anthony Joshua debut.
One fight that did not live up to its expectations, however, was the bout between Lee Selby (17-1-0, 6 KO'S) and Ryan Walsh (16-1-0, 8 KO'S) for the British and Commonwealth featherweight titles.
This meeting, in which Selby was able to win the British title outright, with it being his third defence, should have been an exciting affair. But the contest never really caught fire and became what could be described as a damp squib.
At no point did the crowd get involved as neither fighter was able to provide any meaningful action. Walsh, coming into the bout with an undefeated record, must be given credit however for his bullish stand against the quicker and more skilful Welshman.
Although clearly he never had Selby in any real trouble, his quick start gave his opponent much to think about. From the get-go Selby couldn’t pin Walsh down and was unable to connect with the blistering combinations we have seen before.
Two accidental head clashes lead to Selby suffering a cut on either eyebrow. With this most certainly in his mind, the man from Barry trudged through the rest of the fight winning almost all of the rounds, but most certainly did not look overly good doing so.
Selby got the decision with judges giving it 118-110, 118-112 and 117-111 all in his favour.
Although this fight will be forgotten rather speedily, the question must be put forward: has Lee Selby found his level?
After brushing aside opponents such as Stephen Smith, Patrick Okine and Martin Lindsay in such dominant fashion, it appeared that Lee was far and away above the domestic scene and was tipped by some to go onto world honours.
In his last couple of fights, however, Selby has looked rather lethargic and has not been able to impress.
Granted, both turned out to be one-sided affairs on the judges scorecard. But for someone with the style and swagger of Selby, which has led to him being given the tongue in cheek nickname ‘the Welsh Mayweather’, he must perform at one hundred percent otherwise he can look a little bit ordinary.
Now he has managed to win the Lord Lonsdale belt outright there is no reason to stay at domestic level. His promoter Eddie Hearn had mentioned giving the Welshman a break after fighting three times in just six months, which would probably be a good idea before his anticipated clash with Rendall Munroe (25-3-1, 11 KOs) for the vacant European title.
Although this will be the toughest fight of Selby's career I believe it is just the test he needs.Munroe's style will suit him well and the fight should give a good indication how good Selby can become.
Selby has come to a point in his career in which he faces an important crossroads. It is obvious that he is too good for any rival on the domestic scene. But his last two performances have put doubt into onlookers minds to whether he can make the step up.
The challenge of 'the boxing binman', a former world title challenger, is vital. A win would propel him to the next level, and closer to his world title ambitions. A defeat would send him back to a level he doesn’t want to be.
In answer to the question has Lee Selby found his level, I say no. Although of late he hasn’t been able to impress I fully expect him to beat Munroe. An assault on the world titles are some way off yet, but I can envisage him one day challenging for top honours.
JK James | Follow on Twitter