Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Lindsay even more focused on Selby challenge second time around

Martin Lindsay takes on Lee Selby on Saturday
Martin Lindsay takes on Lee Selby on Saturday

Martin Lindsay's stop-start career was virtually encapsulated in the moment he was told that his British featherweight title shot was off, just hours from the time he was to have stepped through the ropes to face Lee Selby.

That was last September when Lindsay was to be the chief supporting act to Carl Frampton's demolition of former world champion Steve Molitor. Belfast man Lindsay is back this Saturday night at the Odyssey for take two.

Selby will start the slight favourite to retain the Lonsdale belt once owned by Lindsay before he was outworked by tough little Scot John Simpson in December 2010.

The defeat still hurts Lindsay who for all his natural ability has often been frustrated by inactivity and twists of fortune, such as the morning of September 22 2012 when he got the call from Matchroom Promotions.

"I couldn't believe it when I got the call to come down to the Europa and then was told that Selby was sick and had to pull out but I had trained so hard that I took a fight with a guy who was at least stone heavier," said Lindsay, who had a tough work-out with French lightweight Renald Garrido.

"I had to quickly get over the fact that the fight wasn't happening and in a funny way I think getting those eight rounds will have me in better shape for Selby this time.

"The British board made me mandatory so whether Selby gave it up or whether he was going to face me, I knew I was getting a shot at the British title and that was the main thing.

"I was on towards the end of the night last time because of the change of opponent but it was a great atmosphere, you could feel it. When I lost my title to John Simpson in the King's Hall it hurt me a lot for along time afterwards and it still hurts because I felt that I had let my fans down that night.

"I've learned a lot and I am ready to get the belt back. I know that most people will think that Selby is favourite because he's on a run of good wins but I'm desperate to win this belt – I know that it can open the door to a European title shot.

"He's the number one challenger for the European title so if I can beat him then my career will take off again.

"I've had my ups and downs but hopefully now I can get going again, I still believe I can mix it with the very best in the featherweight division."

Selby, though, is adamant that he will bring Lindsay's career to a thudding halt.

"I expect Lindsay to keep coming at me, to keep going, but I think I'm going to knock him out," said Selby.

After dispatching Lindsay nemesis Simpson and Stephen Smith in 2011, the champion is looking to finish off a tasty trio of challengers and then move on.

"I'd like to win the British title outright but I'm looking to leave this scene behind and challenge for the European title," he said.

Meanwhile, Kell Brook's World title fight on February 23 has been postponed.

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