TRAINER Tony Borg remains convinced that Andrew Selby is a future world champion and believes last weekend’s loss in Mexico was a “crossroads fight” in his boxer’s career.

Selby slipped to the first defeat of his tenure in the pro ranks with a fifth-round stoppage at the hands of Julio Cesar Martinez Aguilar.

The WBC world flyweight title final eliminator seemed to be going Selby’s way as he led on the scorecards of all three ringside judges after four rounds.

However, a crunching body shot 57 seconds into the fifth resulted in Selby being counted out, although the Welshman’s camp was adamant referee Hector Afu ended proceedings prematurely.

A win for Selby (11-1) would have put him in pole position to challenge belt holder Charlie Edwards, but Mexican Aguilar will now be the one getting that chance.

Borg, though, reckons Selby, 30, can use the setback to fulfil his enormous potential, but the former also knows there is a possibility that the British champion could go in the opposite direction.

“Hopefully he’ll come back from this,” said the St Joseph’s coach.

“He’s got a holiday booked and when he comes back, I think that’s going to be the answer.

“If he goes off for two, three, four weeks, he’s gone. If he comes back in the gym and gets back into it, fine, but if he goes wandering off it could be the end of him.

“I’m hoping it’s a crossroads fight for him and he thinks ‘right, I’m going to knuckle down now, and if I can do that when I’m not knuckling down properly, what can I do when I am?’ “I still think he’s got it in him to go all the way.

“If I thought he couldn’t do it at all, I’d be the first one to tell him.”

He continued: “I’ve watched Andrew getting himself back on track over the last two or three months.

“Maybe he’s going to realise now that if he’s in the gym regularly and looking after himself then he hasn’t got to go through all of that other stuff.

“A win in Mexico would have been fantastic, but he lost, so it could be a case of him thinking ‘I’m not going to bother any more’ or he could come back and think ‘I can still do this’.

“I still think there’s a spark in him and he can come back from it.

“What a waste of talent it would be if he didn’t win a world title – I know he can do it and he knows he can still do it.”

The big talking point after Saturday night’s fight was that debated count by the Panamanian official.

Describing the closing stages from his vantage point in Selby’s corner, Borg said: “I wasn’t over the moon with how Andrew was fighting, it wasn’t the slick boxing he can do, but he was winning the fight.

“We were looking to keep building and gaining momentum, and then get the Mexican out of there.

“It was a good body shot he was caught with. Andrew stepped back with hands high and he was caught with a right and then a left which took the wind out of him.

“He went down, took the count, and in his head he was rising on six. And, at the time, that’s how I saw it – and the referee stopped it.

“I’m not going slag off the referee, I’ll have to watch it again a couple of times and freeze-frame it to get the count exactly right, but it does look like the referee stopped it early.

“But Andrew is to blame as well. He should have made more of the fact that he was ready to fight on, but there was none of that, he just walked over to the corner.

“It didn’t look like he was disagreeing with the referee’s decision, whereas he should have. Everyone accepted that he had accepted it.”

He added: “If Andrew got up and the referee had looked at him and he was wobbling then stop it.

“His eyes were going to be fine because he wasn’t hurt in that way, and at that level, I think the referee should have told him to box on.

“It wasn’t like it was a head shot where you could tell he was out of it.”