WELSH stars Andrew Selby and Joe Cordina have welcomed the British Lionhearts’ decision to stage its World Series of Boxing (WSB) match against the France Fighting Roosters in the principality.

The Lionhearts will take on the Roosters at the Newport Centre on Saturday, April 14 in a top-of-the-table clash to decide who will finish the regular season as winners of the WSB’s European Group.

St Joseph’s ace Selby and former stablemate Cordina both boxed for the Lionhearts during their successful amateur careers as part of the GB Boxing squad.

The pair are fans of the five-round WSB which bridges the gap between amateur and professional boxing, and have predicted it will go down well with boxing fans in Wales.

Flyweight Selby, who won nine of his 10 contests over three season of competing in the WSB, said: “I loved boxing in WSB.

“When I was at GB Boxing we always competed abroad, so to box at home in the WSB – where there was a bit more show with the ringwalk and the weigh-in the day before – was brilliant.

“The atmosphere at the WSB matches I took part in was always brilliant. I recently boxed at York Hall in a pro show and, to be honest, the atmosphere was better when I competed in the WSB.

“The thing about WSB is it really is the best boxing the best. In one match, I boxed Michael Conlan, which would sell out an arena now.

“In another, I competed for the Lionhearts against Ukraine and a team which featured Vasyl Lomachenko and Oleksandr Usyk, who are now rated as two of the best boxers in the world.

“For people that like their sport, WSB is a chance to see real, top-quality boxers and I reckon the fans in Wales will love it.”

Lightweight star Cordina, who will box on the Anthony Joshua show at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday, was the first ever boxer from Great Britain to compete in WSB when he defeated American Eric Fowler in California in November 2012.

Cordina added: “WSB was a really good experience for me and definitely helped me to develop as a boxer.

“I was the first British boxer to compete for the Lionhearts in the team’s first ever match in the competition in the USA in 2012 so it’s nice to have that bit of history.

“Whilst I loved tournament (amateur) boxing, WSB was a bit different.

“It was a bit more pro-style and there is definitely a lot more show with the events which is good for the boxers and the fans.

“You have a weigh-in the day before and a ringwalk on the night, so the events are an enjoyable thing to be part of.

“The quality of the boxing is very high and most of the boxers in WSB are top-class.

“The bouts are over five rounds and it’s very high energy and you can’t just hit and run.

“Now that I am a pro, I really appreciate the experience of having competed in WSB as it helped to prepare me for the differences between amateur and pro boxing.

“People in Wales know their boxing and I reckon the fans in Newport and South Wales are going to really enjoy the WSB.

“I am planning to get down there myself to catch-up with my old (GB Boxing) coaches and support the team.”

The Lionhearts will look for revenge in Newport after narrowly losing the away fixture 3-2 in Paris in their first match of the season.

The WSB match is preceded by a four-bout undercard of amateur boxing featuring Wales versus England.

Tickets are on sale now, priced £15 (plus £1.50 booking fee), at www.gbboxing.org.uk/tickets.

More details on the British Lionhearts are available at gbboxing.org.uk/world-series-boxing and by following the team on Twitter at @Brit_Lionhearts.