(Photo credit: Lucas Noonan/PBC) In a surprisingly competitive fight, IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby (22-1, 8 KOs) retained his IBF title with a tougher than expected 12 round unanimous decision win over 36-year-old former three division world champion Fernando Montiel (54-5-2, 39 KOs) on Wednesday night on Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN from the Gila River Arena, in Glendale, Arizona. The judges scored the fight 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112.
Selby used his big height and reach advantage to nail the shorter 5’4″ Montiel from the outside all night long. Montiel was still effective though at times when he would charge forward and land left hooks. Selby did a good job of controlling the right hands from Montiel, but he couldn’t do much to stop his left hook. Fortunately for Selby, Montiel didn’t attack him as hard as he needed to for him to get the victory.
The win for Selby left a lot of questions about whether he’ll be able to handle the better fighters in the featherweight division if/when his promoter Eddie Hearn puts him in against the better fighters. Off of tonight’s performance, you would have to say that Selby would lose to the best guys at 126 like Vasyl Lomachenko, Leo Santa Cruz, Gary Russell Jr, Abner Mares and Nonito Donaire.
33-year-old journeyman Aaron Martinez (20-4-1, 4 KOs) pulled off a big upset in defeating former two division world champion Devon Alexander (26-4, 14 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision in the main event. The judges scored the fight 96-94, 97-93 and 97-93.
Alexander fought reasonably well in the first 4 rounds, but he fell apart after the 4th and spent most of the last 6 rounds holding Martinez instead of fighting him.
The defeat for Alexander was his 3rd in his last 4 fights. He’s probably not going to retire from boxing, but he really needs to think hard about doing that because he looks like he’s over-the-hill at 28. His losses to Amir Khan and Shawn Porter appears to have taken something out of him, and he’s not the same fighter that he once was in my view.