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Lee Selby inspired by chat with fellow Welshman Joe Calzaghe

Lee Selby says an encouraging chat with Joe Calzaghe has helped him deal with the frustration of a prolonged wait for a third world title defence.

IBF world featherweight champion Selby (24-1, 9 KOs) makes his third defence against Argentina's Jonathan Barros at the SSE Arena, Wembley, on Saturday after the pair were supposed to meet on Jan 28.

Selby grew up idolising his unbeaten compatriot Calzaghe. Ben Hoskins/Getty Images
But their fight in Las Vegas at the start of the year was cancelled at a day's notice after Barros (41-4-1, 22 KOs) failed to meet medical requirements.

Selby, 30, admits his career has lost momentum because of it, missing out on a big payday this summer against British rival Carl Frampton as he has to meet mandatory challenger Barros next.

But Selby has been left inspired by talking to fellow Welshman Calzaghe (46-0, 32 KOs), who retired undefeated in Feb 2009 aged 36 after ruling as world super-middleweight champion for over ten years.

"I spoke to Joe Calzaghe quite recently and he said he didn't really excel until his late thirties and made some big money," Selby told ESPN.

"That's what I want to achieve, keep defending my title and there's still a lot more to come from me.

"He passed on his personal experiences to me and he was the best fighter I've seen plus a great role model for me being a Welsh boxer like he was."

Selby, whose last defence was a points win over American Andoni Gago in April last year, had a ninth round stoppage win over Andoni Gago on March 4 and says despite boxing once in a year he has still improved.

"I'm always learning and improving and there's a lot more to come from me," Selby said.

"I stayed on in America after the fight with Barros was cancelled and did some sparring over there. I've done quite a bit of training and sparring in America over the years and it's really helped."

Selby has yet to box in Wales since he became IBF champion by beating Evgeny Gradovich on a technical decision in May 2015.

Selby last boxed in Wales at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff in May 2014 but hopes to be back boxing in the Welsh capital soon if Anthony Joshua's world heavyweight title rematch with Wladimir Klitschko ends up at the Principality Stadium in November. But Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn is also considering venues in Las Vegas to host Joshua-Klitschko II.

"There isn't a suitable venue in Wales at the moment, which makes it difficult," Selby said.

"The Motorpoint Arena holds 4,000 and then the next step up is the Principality Stadium, which is 90,000 and is too big. There's nothing in between.

"But if Anthony Joshua's rematch with Wladimir Klitschko ends up there I could fight someone like Scott Quigg on the undercard. He's another one who has been calling for the fight with me."

Despite the disappointment of training for nothing and losing a fortune on expenses when his Jan 28 fight with Barros was scrapped, Selby insists this fight is not about seeking retribution.

"It's not about making him pay really," Selby added.

"I just try to stay professional and keep your emotions out of it. Once you start letting your emotions come in it can be a problem in the boxing ring.

"Barros is a very good fighter, a former world champion and is very tough. He's knocked out as many opponents as I've had fightings and he's only been beaten by world champions, so this is a hard fight for me."

Source: http://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/19969323/lee-selby-inspired-chat-fellow-welshman-joe-calzaghe-ahead-jonathan-barros-fight

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