An Interview with Andrew Selby by Sian Gunney

Photo: Liam Hartery

WBC World Flyweight Eliminator 26th May 2017 Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Twitter Official Account @andrewselby1
Hailing from Colcot, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, Selby claimed a silver medal at the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, after he was pipped 13:12 by Russian Misha Aloyan. The tournament was also a qualifying tournament for the 2012 London Olympics with a quarter-final being the usual qualification criteria. However, as Selby wasn’t the only Brit in his weight division, he had to wait until later that year to seal Olympic qualification when he met Beijing Olympian Khalid Yafai at the 2011 GB Amateur Boxing Championships. Selby won the fight 26:12, thus sealing a place as GB Boxing‘s flyweight representative at the 2012 London Olympics. World Series Boxing in 2012-2013. Then entering the commonwealth games in 2014.

  1. Andrew a privilege and pleasure to meet you!  Can you talk me through your boxing journey.

How old are you, what age did you first discover boxing, is it in the family? Talk us through your fights to date. What does boxing mean to you?

I’m 28 years old now. I discovered boxing at 8 years old. First fight was at 10.

Yes it’s in the family Lee obviously and my Dad boxed and my grampy on my dad’s side did too. (Lee : well that’s what Dad just said) *Andrew laughs. Also my eldest brother … not Lee one who passed away Michael he boxed.

I started Taekwondo at eight and didn’t enjoy it. We went to the gym and on camping trips. At first it was just like games, then I won my fist Welsh title at 10 years old then I kept winning it every year. I got to the 4 nations and lost first win 5-6 in a row selected for Great Britain and won loads of medals, European, Commonwealth, Olympics and turned pro.

  1. Andrew what does this fight on the Friday 26th May at the Motorpoint arena in Cardiff mean to you – It’s the best belt ever, one step closer to achieving world champ. All it is just one guy in the way. It’s a tough opponent who is bigger than me with a higher knock out ratio.

3. What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Going to the Olympics as an amateur.

British title as a professional

And being a dad.

  1. Andrew can you talk me through your goals and aspirations. In 5 years time where do you see yourself?

To be a world champion only reason I’m a fighter.

Well that and to pay the bills.

  1. Who was your boxing hero growing up?

Didn’t have a particular one. Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank,

Muhammad Ali.

Manny Pacquiao I really like his speed and power I copy a few of his moves with my technique and training.

  1. What’s your favourite boxing fight of all time?

Arturo Gatti v Micky Ward round 9.

Two boxers fiercely fighting for 30 rounds. Both went to hospital after a fight and ended up in hospital beds next to eachother. They became the best of friends. Then when Ward retired Gatti wanted Ward to walk out with him and be in his corner. Ward did to cheers from the crowd. You can watch the documentary online or remember the film The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg that was telling the story :

  1. Current and past fighters dead or alive who would be your dream fight and where would it be – Manny Pacquiao then to fight him in Las Vegas.

Obviously he would punch my head in but I would love to see how fast he is and how fast I could be for the World Title.

  1. Can you give our readers an insight to what your daily routine looks like ahead of fight night?

Get up 7:30am have porridge and black coffee and a banana.

Gym 10am bag work, sparring, pad work.

Strength work then home at 3pm.

Sponsor delivers food fish or chicken and sweet potatoes. Then I watch Jeremy Kyle.

Then black coffee, 8 mile run as I’ve found a nice route where I live.

Or sprints or step work. Then home and film… maybe a little tea depending on weight and bed.

  1. When you are not boxing where can we find you? Hobbies? How do you relax?

I like fishing to relax and if I’m not boxing I’m seeing my baby.

  1. Who are your biggest supports in life and in boxing?
    My Mum!

Also Capital cabs Cardiff and A2B Tyres in Barry are my key sponsors.

However I want to say a big, big thank you to each and everyone of my sponsors there are too many to name but I’m very grateful.

  1. What do you love most about Barry? / South Wales

The way the fans support you it’s incredible.

  1. If money was no object and I could give you a ticket to anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Hawaii I’ve seen it on movies it looks amazing. I’ve travelled but I’ve never done a tropical paradise. I’d really like to.

  1. If you could give advice to a younger you what would you say?

Attend school more.

You know my parents brought me up well, but maybe just listen more to what they say.

Anything else?

Stay away from women?

  1. If you could advise a youngster starting out in boxing what would you say?

Train in a fun way. As a kid make it as much fun as you can boxing training. If a trainer thinks you are good, make sure you get chance to enjoy it before you change lifestyle and diet and dedicate all that time.

Sian and Andrew chat about the strict diet and dedication it takes.

Andrew says as soon as he’s not fighting he hates porridge, when he’s dieting he actually looks forward to it. Same with coffee he loves coffee but has it black when training and full cream and sugar as soon as the fight is over.

What’s your favourite food Andrew..

Nandos without a doubt and anything hot and spicy… I love curry!

  1. If your friends and close family could describe you in 3 words, what would they say.
    Generous, joker and laid back
  2. Talk me through how you feel on fight night

Every single fight I’m never confident. All this goes through my head, what if people come and I let them down. I internalise that I have a really big challenge and that if I lose it’s the end of the world. I like to do shadow boxing in the mirror and run through my styles. In the changing room I honestly think how can I get out of this. Then when my name is called and I walk out I think no-one is beating me I’ve got this.

I don’t want to allow myself to think I’m the best or I’m going to win as the let down from not achieving is the worse thing in the world. There’s a lot of people expecting so much from me it’s a lot of pressure. I don’t like to tell myself it’s mine yet. I like to balance that by thinking I won’t and giving it my all.

Tony Borg: Quote

I first saw Andrew and Lee at an amateur show years ago. One was boxing and one shadowing. Lee’s dedication and discipline would go down as the best of any boxer. Lee is a wizard.

Andrew is very different to Lee. Lee is disciplined Andrew is a natural. Even Lee always says Andrew is the best fighter, they love training together. Andrew is like watching poetry in motion same as Fred, what those boys have it just cannot be taught, they are born with it. Andrew stopped listening to his Dad and brother when he got tired they would urge him to keep going and he would stop. However he does listen to me and I would push him on another 3 rounds and he would come back with some of the best punches and moves he had done and feel great and gain confidence. Each time knowing he could go further and still feel strong and fast. Andrew is switched on …I said to him come on give me three years of your life. Get your big money and then you and Lee can go and buy a pub in Barry with memorabilia and just sit back and enjoy life. Andrew is incredible when Andrew listens and believes in himself he’s unstoppable.

Thanks Tony and your prediction for the fight?

If this guy is as gutsy as he comes across then it’s going to go a good 7-8 rounds.

I see Andrew stopping him in round 9/10



 ANDREW SELBY QUOTE: “It’s great to be back boxing in Wales in the biggest test of my pro career so far. I’m getting closer to my dream of becoming a World Champion alongside my brother Lee and this WBC world title eliminator will put me in touching distance.

BARRY McGUIGAN QUOTE: “I’m so pleased that Cyclone Promotions have managed to secure this official WBC World title eliminator fight for Andrew Selby at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff on May 26th. Selby vs Rosales is a cracking fight between two of the best flyweights in the world. Andrew Selby is one of the most talented boxers of his generation and his opponent on May 26th Cristofer Rosales is from a winning team that includes the legendary Roman Gonzalez, so this has the makings of a very good fight.


Tickets start from only £42 it’s on Friday 26th May at Motorpoint Arena brought to you by Cyclone Promotions and it promises to be an incredible fight night.


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