BARRY boxer Lee Selby is the new British and Commonwealth featherweight champion, after producing a stunning performance to knock out unbeaten hot favourite Stephen Smith.

Underdog Lee, 24, knocked out Smith in the eighth round of the title bout at the Liverpool Olympia last weekend.

The stunning display means Lee, who grew up on Barry Road, adds his new titles to the Welsh and Celtic featherweight titles he won earlier in the year.

He is now aiming for European and World featherweight title success.

"I’m over the moon," he said.

"It feels like I’ve won a world title!

"It’s something that I have been dreaming about since I was a kid. It’s a big achievement and not a lot of people have done it."

Former Colcot Primary and Barry Comprehensive pupil Lee started boxing when he was eight years old. He trains at St Josephs boxing gym in Newport, having previously trained in Rhoose and Splott.

And Lee, who only had three days rest after his previous title-winning fight against James Ancliff in July, has already planned his first title defence.

"I’ll be fighting John Simpson at Bethnal Green, in London, on November 18," he said.

"Everyone is going to want to challenge me and beat me."

In preparation Lee plans to spend a week at a gym in America where Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have previously trained.

"It’s a great opportunity for me and training there will give me more confidence," he said.


LEE Selby returned to a hero’s welcome in Barry!

"Everyone has been happy with me," he said.

"When I’m out, people are coming up to me and shaking my hand and saying well done.

"People are recognising me in the street too. I’m starting to feel like a movie star!"

Lee, who was 100-1 to win by knockout, added that a lot of his friends had won money on the fight.

"The people who know me and all my friends expected that I would win,” he said.

"Someone won £22,000 and apparently another guy put £500 on me to win in the eighth round and he got £50,000. That’s a lot of money!"

Lee’s 47-year-old father, Lee Selby Snr, was never in doubt about the outcome.

"He has been boxing since he was eight years old and has always been improving," he said.

"I’m looking forward to his first defence against the ex-champion!"

Fan Hazel Thomas, who runs O’Briens pub on Holton Road, watched the match on Sky Sports and was delighted with Lee’s success.

"He won every round and was brilliant, absolutely amazing," she said.

"The guy he beat had never been knocked out before. I think it was a shock to the whole of Liverpool!"

Hazel, who has seen Lee fight five times, added: "It’s great to see someone from Barry doing so well!"

* Lee thanked his girlfriend Rochelle Phillips, O’Briens pub, The Windsor Hotel, Guy Sillet, Clayton Smith and all his friends and family for their support and encouragement before the fight.


LEE'S supporters were able to watch him take his 26-year-old Liverpool opponent apart live on Sky television’s Saturday night Fight Night.

Smith had home advantage but after a close first round he was on the receiving end of a barrage of powerful punching that saw Lee build up an impressive points lead, before unleashing the left hook that ended the contest in the eighth round.

Smith’s legs buckled and he was out for the count before he hit the canvas.

The referee immediately signalled that the fight was over and it was several minutes before the Liverpudlian was helped to his feet.

Lee now has a record of 12 fights, with 11 wins, 3 by knockout, and 1 defeat.

He was a big underdog going into the contest at Olympia but had always said he was confident of victory, and backed up his claims by taking the centre of the ring from the first bell and dominating Smith.

Speaking to the Barry & District News, he said: "My plan was to go out and box him and keep him at long range, but after the first round I took it to him and fought him.

"He thought I would use the ring and stay away from him, but I felt I was stronger than him so I took it to him."