Doubt over Lee Selby/Carl Frampton bout


Lee Selby’s manager Jamie Sanigar doubts the IBF world featherweight champion will fight British rival Carl Frampton this summer.

And Sanigar is also unsure whether Selby will defend his belt against Jonathan Barros next, despite there being a purse bid on Thursday.

Welshman Selby (24-1, 9 KOs), 30, wants to face Northern Irishman Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs), who lost his WBA version of the world title in a rematch with Leo Santa Cruz on points in January.

But Sanigar says Frampton’s team — promoter Barry McGuigan along with sons Jake and Shane — are not interested.

“We’ve made approaches and it’s their side that doesn’t want it,” Sanigar told ESPN.

“They don’t fancy Carl Frampton against Lee Selby. Lee Selby is a far superior boxer stylistically to Santa Cruz and he’s a nightmare for Carl Frampton — and they know that.

“There’s been no progression. I’ve spoken to the McGuigans and they don’t appear to have any interest in the Lee Selby fight.

“It’s very surprising due to the demand from the British fans and we would be willing to do it in Belfast if it makes financial sense for both the boxers.

“They can’t afford for Carl to lose twice and we didn’t get to that [discussing the venue] because they are hell bent on getting the third fight with Santa Cruz, but I can’t see that getting made next.

“In the short term, the Lee Selby fight is a fight that can be made but they will use the situation with the IBF as an excuse. With a fight of this magnitude, things can be done to get it made.”

Frampton’s priority has been to face Santa Cruz, but the champion has been ordered to fight fellow Mexican Abner Mares next.

Barry McGuigan, the former world featherweight champion, declined to comment on any plans for Frampton’s fight when contacted by ESPN.

Barros (41-4-1, 22 KOs), 33, seems the most likely next opponent for Selby, but Sanigar has reservations about the Argentine’s health.

Barros was forced to pull out of fighting Selby in Las Vegas on Jan 28 just before the weigh-in because he did not meet the licensing requirements of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It left Selby heartbroken, without a fight and out of pocket.

A purse bid is due Thursday for Selby-Barros but Sanigar wants further blood tests before the mandatory defence takes place.

“Lee will fight again in June or July definitely, but we’re not sure who yet,” Sanigar told ESPN.

“There are still complications legally with the Barros fight.

“I can’t put my boxer into a fight with the risk of getting hepatitis and this is what the lawyers are working on. There’s a purse bid and we’re still very unclear of his eligibility to box. In my opinion it hasn’t been solved.

“Our main goal is to get the big fights that Lee’s interested in and he’s advised by Al Haymon like Frampton, Santa Cruz and Gary Russell Jr. But Lee’s IBF champion and we must ensure he remains IBF champion.”

Selby, whose second and last title defence was against Eric Hunter a year ago, stopped Andoni Gago in London in a non-title fight last month. Barros last fought in October.


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