By Clive Bernath: According to trainer John Rooney, Martin Lindsey cannot wait to finally challenge champion Lee Selby for his old British featherweight title at the Odyssey Arena in his home city of Belfast, Northern Ireland on February 9.
The 30 year-old, was to have challenged the in-form Welshman at the same arena last September but Selby was forced to pull out the morning of the fight after suffering from flu and sickness.
Lindsey was understandably disappointed at Selby’s late withdrawal but somehow promoter Eddie Hearn managed to perform a minor miracle by drafting in Renald Garrido at the last minute. Lindsey went through the motions and out-pointed the Frenchman over eight rounds.
Selby is now fully recovered from his illness and Rooney says Lindsey cannot wait to get in the ring and reclaim the British featherweight crown.
Speaking from his new gym in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Rooney said: “Sparring’s been going very well. Martin is ready and so motivated. He just wants to get on with the job now. As you know the fight was postponed at the last minute so were just ready to go, the fight can’t come soon enough for us.”
As far as the form guide goes Selby understandably starts a narrow favorite to regain the title he won by impressively knocking out the previously unbeaten Stephen Smith inside eight rounds in September 2011. And Selby has impressively stopped five of his last six opponents including John Simpson (tko 5), the man who not only took away Lindsey’s unbeaten record but also his British featherweight title. Rooney undoubtedly sees a tough fight ahead but he makes Lindsey a slight favorite
“I know people see Selby as the favorite but I honestly make Martin a sixty forty favorite for this fight,” said a confident John Rooney.
“I take my hat off to Selby, he’s really hit some form lately. He’s a very strong lad and had some very good stoppage wins but Martin’s a true professional, he’s the better boxer, the more experienced and if Selby comes forward and tries to hurt Martin that will just motivate him even more. Whatever comes Martin’s way he will deal with it.”
John Rooney’s new boxing gym is located at 37-39, Queens Street, Belfast.
February 1, 2013