Monday, May 29, 2023  |


Lee Selby hopes Carl Frampton faces him next, not Leo Santa Cruz

Fighters Network
Photo courtesy of Matchroom Boxing

Photo courtesy of Matchroom Boxing

Carl Frampton posed amicably with IBF featherweight titleholder Lee Selby on Sunday morning following his impressive upset win against Leo Santa Cruz to claim the WBA 126-pound title.

“Lee Selby was here and is a great fighter,” Frampton said. “He’s someone I respect very much and I’ve been singing his praises for a very, very long time. He’s one of the best UK fighters and I’ve always said that, so that fight interests me.”

That was music to  Selby’s ears. Frampton’s camp spoke of possibly facing Selby (23-1, eight knockouts) in Manchester in an all-British featherweight unification showdown later this year before engaging Santa Cruz in a rematch, perhaps next summer. Selby echoed those thoughts following the post-fight press conference.

“I would love to face him next,” Selby told at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. “He’s a great fighter. We’ve both got mutual respect. It would be a great fight, especially back home.”

Selby doesn’t think Frampton will choose to face Santa Cruz right away, given the grueling nature of the first fight. Frampton edged Santa Cruz to win a majority decision in a likely Fight of the Year candidate given the two-way action. “I don’t think he’ll face him next,” Selby said. “I think it would be a great fight (between us). More of a boxing match than what you saw tonight.”

Selby was under the impression that Frampton, who was rising in weight, would choose to box Santa Cruz rather than engage him. Many times in the fight, Frampton stood in the pocket and exchanged violent punches with Santa Cruz.

“I was surprised by the tactics,” Selby said. “I thought he would stick to his boxing a little more since he’s a brilliant boxer. But at times he chose to hold his feet and trade with Santa Cruz and that surprised me a little bit. He showed he can dig in when it gets tough and beat a fighter at his own game.” Selby walked away impressed with Frampton, adding, “He’s a great fighter and he proved his worth as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.”