Selby admits he’d chew but not swallow food as he battled to make weight


LEE SELBY revealed his weight cut was so severe he would chew food but resist swallowing it – in order to make the featherweight limit.

Selby debuted at featherweight in 2008 and remained at the 126lb limit throughout his career – holding the IBF world title from 2015-2018.

Lee Selby had a major battle to make the featherweight limit during his career
PA:Press Association

However, after Selby saw his IBF strap ripped off him by Josh Warrington at Elland Road in May last year – the Welshman reacted by announcing his move lightweight, jumping two divisions.

Speaking to BBC Sport, the Welshman revealed he would spit his food out and attempt to “trick” his mind into “thinking it had eaten”.

Selby said: “From winning the world title, being honest, I should have vacated it and started moving up the weights.

“After working so hard to get the world title, though, that becomes a hard decision to make – especially as I was struggling to get the fights I wanted.

Josh Warrington beat Selby for the IBF featherweight world title last May

“The lengths I went to, to cut the weight, it was pretty bad.

“I got to the stage where I would have two meals. A normal meal that I wouldn’t really eat – I would chew it up and then spit it out.

“On the other plate I would just have plain salad leaves. I would try and trick my mind into thinking it had eaten. It was dangerous.”

Selby will make his move up to 135lb, nine pounds comfier than featherweight, on Saturday and face Omar Douglas on the James DeGale vs Chris Eubank Jr undercard.

But ahead of the fight, Selby admitted not even a £1million pay cheque tempt him back to the terrors of cutting down to featherweight.

The Welshman revealed his weight cut was so severe he would chew food but resist swallowing it
PA:Press Association
The severe weight cut has led Selby to jump two divisions to lightweight
Action Images

He said: “Nine pounds in weight is a big difference in boxing, but it is not a case of ‘I get to pack on another nine pounds’.

“The reality is it just means nine pounds less to take off.

“If you saw my body on the scales last week, you could never believe I was ever able to make featherweight. I don’t know how I did it.

“If you offered me £1m to fight at featherweight in a month, I couldn’t do it. It wouldn’t be possible. I would cry thinking about.”



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