Lee Selby wants Evgeny Gradovich IBF title fight by March
Lee Selby says he wants to fight for the world featherweight title by March.
Welshman Selby, 27, faces Joel Brunker at the O2 Arena on 11 October in a final eliminator to fight IBF champion Evgeny Gradovich.
“He's a tough, come-forward fighter with knockout power in both hands”
It will not be the first time the two have been in a ring together after previously sparring in Floyd Mayweather's Las Vegas gym.
Selby said: "It [the sparring] was highly competitive, but I'm going into the fight confident."
Australian Brunker is undefeated in his 27 fights, but Selby said the career course he has plotted to this date will stand him in good stead.
"Each fight has been a gradual step up in class and each fighter has been a little bit better than the other.
"Joel Brunker is obviously another step ahead. We must have done about 30 rounds sparring together so I know him pretty well.
"He's a tough, come-forward fighter with knockout power in both hands so it's going to make for a real fight.
"Hopefully I'll come through this fight OK then fight him [Gradovich] before the end of March."
This will be the second time the two men have boxed on the same card at the Greenwich venue; it was the setting for Joshua's professional debut against Emanuele Leo in October 2013 on the same night Selby won a unanimous decision over Ryan Walsh.
"It's a brilliant, amazing atmosphere, a great venue and I'll take a couple of coaches of the Welsh fans with me - it will make it a great spectacle," said Selby.
As part of his preparation for the eliminator fight, Selby has been training out in Alicante, Spain, where his sparring partners included IBF super-bantamweight champion Kiko Martinez.
He is also due to be in Los Angeles in mid-September, where he will train at Freddie Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club.