Lee Selby to defend against Eric Hunter on April 9

Featherweight world titleholder Lee Selby will defend his belt for the second time when he squares off with mandatory challenger Eric Hunter on April 9 at the O2 Arena in London, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced Thursday.

The fight will take place on a card headlined by the previously announced fight between heavyweight word titleholder Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs) and British star Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs).

"I can't wait," Selby said. "I've always wanted to box on April 9 and I've been working towards that and my head's been on it, so now it's confirmed. It's great news.

"Hunter looks decent and it will be a good fight, but I am more than ready for this one. It's always nice to fight in front of your home fans, so it will be great to have my second defense in front of my own people."

Selby (22-1, 8 KOs), 29, of Wales, claimed a 126-pound world title with a dominant eighth-round technical decision win over Evgeny Gradovich in May, also at the O2 Arena. In his first defense, in October in Glendale, Arizona, he won a lopsided unanimous decision against former three-division titleholder Fernando Montiel.

"Last time I went away to America, so it was hard for [my fans] to watch. It was on in the early hours of the morning, but this time they will get to see me, and that is important," Selby said. "I will be at my best. I will show why I am the IBF world champion and show people what I can do."

Last month, Tom Brown's TGB Promotions, which put on Selby-Montiel, won an IBF purse bid for $302,990 to win the right to put on Selby-Hunter. Brown worked out a deal for Selby-Hunter to be on the April 9 card. Under the purse bid's 85-15 split, Selby is entitled to $257,542 to Hunter's $45,448.

"This is a great fight, I think the toughest of Lee's career, and I'm delighted to add it to this huge night of boxing," Hearn said. "Lee has boxed at the O2 on a number of occasions, and who can forget his defining moment against Gradovich to win the title there just under a year ago? I think the atmosphere and occasion will see him shine on this bumper night for British boxing."

Hunter (21-3, 11 KOs), 29, of Philadelphia, will be participating in his first world title bout.

In another bout added to the card, former three-time middleweight world title challenger Matthew Macklin (34-6, 22 KOs) will face former junior middleweight title challenger Brian Rose (28-3-1, 8 KOs) in an all-British showdown.