IBF world champion Lee Selby still hopes to make the featherweight division’s other leading lights sit up and take notice of him tomorrow night, despite challenger Eduardo Ramirez failing to make the weight for their London bout.

The unbeaten Mexican was eight pounds over the limit [126 pounds] this week and cannot now challenge for Selby’s title.

“The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) say he cannot come in any lower than 9st 2lbs (128lbs) for health reasons,” promoter Frank Warren said.

“So if the fight goes ahead Lee will remain champion whatever the result.”

St Joseph’s star Selby will hope the fight goes ahead at the Copper Box Arena as he looks to set himself up for a big 2018.

The Barry-born boxer still harbours dreams of a massive domestic showdown against Carl Frampton and the 30-year-old wants to follow that up by unifying the belts at 126lbs.

Gary Russell Jnr and Oscar Valdez are the WBC and WBO kings respectively but it is WBA number one Leo Santa Cruz who Selby has his sights on.

However, Selby must come through this weekend unscathed if he is to keep alive his dream of being recognised as the division’s undisputed champion.

He faces unbeaten Mexican Eduardo Ramirez at the Copper Box Arena tomorrow, five months after comfortably seeing off the challenge of Argentina’s Jonathan Victor Barros on points.

“Hopefully I’ll come through this fight and then I’ve got my mandatory defence against Josh Warrington,” he said. “Beat him and then move on to a big domestic fight with Carl Frampton.

“Ideally I’d beat him then look for a unification fight against someone like Leo Santa Cruz.

“My main goal was obviously to win the world title, now it’s trying to unify the division.”

He added: “The main thing for me on Saturday is just to get the win, looking good comes second.

“Ramirez is a good fighter, he’s unbeaten, comes from a good stable and the brother of a former opponent of mine trains him.

“The Mexicans come to fight and they are very tough and durable, and he’s hungry, so it’s going to make for a good fight.

“He’s also a southpaw so early on in my training camp I had a few bigger boys in who were both switch-hitters.

“They stayed in the southpaw stance for me and were both welterweights so nice and strong too.

“I got the heavy sparring done early then I went out to Fuerteventura with Jazza Dickens and Ryan Wheeler, who are lighter and faster.

“Then I came back and did my last sparring with Jacob Robinson, a featherweight who is making his pro debut a week after my fight.”

Commenting further on the other top featherweights, which also includes WBA ‘super’ champion Abner Mares, Tony Borg-trained Selby said: “They’re all very talented champions at the moment but I know that if I box to the best of my ability I can beat any featherweight in the world.

“I’d say that Russell Jr is probably the best of the rest. He’s a hard-punching southpaw with probably the fastest hands in boxing at any weight.

“Abner Mares is very experienced now and also darts in and out with fast bursts but my timing beats their speed.

“I’ve already sparred a lot of rounds with Oscar Valdez at The Rock gym over in LA.

“He loads up a bit too much, tries to take your head off even when he’s jabbing.

“Though he’s a two-time Olympian, he lacks the experience of the other belt holders as a pro.

“Leo Santa Cruz is generally regarded as the best in the division and probably has the highest profile so he’s the one I’d most like to face.

“He’s good all round, brings a very high work rate but the secret is not to let him hit you. He can throw as many as he likes if they’re hitting fresh air.

“Victory over him would finally bring the recognition that I’m number one at nine stone.”