Boxing

Carl Frampton plans Santa Cruz rematch before bringing Lee Selby to Windsor Park

Carl Frampton took Leo Santa Cruz's WBA featherweight title at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn in July

CARL Frampton plans to follow up a Leo Santa Cruz rematch early next year with a “dream” summer blockbuster against Lee Selby at Windsor Park.

Belfast’s two-weight world champion is eyeing a return to the USA for a reprisal of his July win over Santa Cruz. He predicts he could stop the Mexican second time around and will then turn his attention to Welsh IBF featherweight king Selby at Windsor in June.

“There’s a rematch clause with Santa Cruz so that’s the fight we’re looking at,” Frampton told The Irish News, adding that reports negotiations had started to get him and Selby into the ring were wide of the mark.

“I think the stuff with Selby was taken out of context. It was something that Shane (McGuigan) said - it was just really an initial call to say ‘yes, it could happen some time in the future’.

“We have a good relationship with the Sanagars (Chris Sanager is Selby’s coach and manager) and with both of us being Al Haymon fighters it would be an easy fight to make. But there is a clause to fight Santa Cruz and that’s probably going to be the next fight.

“As of yet there’s still nothing signed and there’s no definite date. I was hoping to have it before Christmas but it’s doubtful I’ll get it before Christmas. It’ll be the early part of next year – January or February.

“The venue hasn’t been decided – there are options here and options in the States. I would love to do it in Belfast, but I think the Odyssey is too small now, especially to pay Santa Cruz what he wants.

“Windsor Park would be a great option but it’s just the wrong time of year.”

A Santa Cruz rematch followed by a featherweight unification showdown with Selby would complete a top drawer four-fight series for Frampton which started with his win against Scott Quigg in Manchester back in February.

“You build up a bit more of a fanbase if you’re tackling these sort of guys and Santa Cruz fight was a great fight,” said Frampton.

“I think people will want to tune in and see it again and anybody that missed it will want to watch it. You want to be involved in these fights and the big fights are the ones that secure a bit of a legacy for you

“I’ll be 30 on my next birthday and obviously fights like that are the biggest earners.”

Carl Frampton wants to face Lee Selby at Windsor Park next summer

Selby was at ringside for Frampton-Santa Cruz 1 in Brooklyn. Afterwards he said he was confident would beat ‘the Jackal’, but Frampton says a fight between them will only happen on his terms.

“I like Lee Selby, he’s a very good fighter and even when I was at super-bantamweight I talked about how I liked his style. I believe he’s one of the best fighters in the UK,” he said.

“But although he’s been a champion at featherweight longer than me, I’m a bigger name than he is in the UK and around the world. I go into that fight on the front foot and if it’s going to happen, then it happens on my terms.

“I believe it’s a fight for Belfast. He’s talking about having it in Wales but Selby doesn’t fight in Wales and that’s simply because he doesn’t sell a lot of tickets.

“If the fight’s going to happen, it happens in Belfast and I believe he would come to Belfast – this is where it makes more sense and this is where it sells more tickets.

“If the Santa Cruz fight gets done, we could do Selby next and it could be Windsor Park outdoors. That’s a dream of mine and I’m pretty confident that the one after next will be at home and will be at Windsor.”

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