Selby ready to punish Frampton flaws


IBF world featherweight champion Lee Selby wants to defend his title against Carl Frampton and believes his superior boxing skills can silence Belfast.

Northern Ireland’s Frampton (23-1-KO14) lost a rematch and the WBA Super featherweight belt to Leo Santa Cruz in January and is currently on the hunt for a second title shot at 126 pounds.

Selby (24-1-KO9) had been keen on a unification clash with Santa Cruz but after the WBA ordered the American to renew hostilities with Abner Mares, ‘The Welsh Mayweather’ has turned his full attention to ‘The Jackal.’

Selby told ESPN: “They’ve just ordered Leo Santa Cruz v Abner Mares and I’d been looking to fight one of them or Carl Frampton, so it’s just Frampton left now.

Carl Frampton, right, was defeated in a rematch with Leo Santa Cruz, left, in January. JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images

“He said he wants the fight in Belfast and I’d be happy to go there. Ideally, I’d have it in Cardiff but I’d have no problem going to Belfast for that fight. I want the big fights at featherweight and Frampton is one of those.

“I want to be remembered as a champion who fought everyone and wasn’t afraid to take risks by going places. I feel I need that breakthrough fight and beating Frampton in style could well be just that.

“It’s been a frustrating time for me but I’ve kept in the gym, kept training, kept myself in good shape while waiting for that big news.”

Frampton held world titles as a super-bantamweight before stepping up a division last year but although he produced a stunning performance to relieve Santa Cruz of his crown last summer, Selby saw enough shortcomings in the rematch to feel confident of confirming himself the best featherweight in Britain.

Selby added: “In the defeat to Santa Cruz, I wouldn’t say he was exposed as one-dimensional but what it did prove was that Frampton can be out-boxed. He was out-boxed by Santa Cruz and I’m a much better boxer than Santa Cruz.

“I imagine that Frampton would come out and go straight at me — trying to knock me out early. That will just play into my hands though. I’ll stay on the back foot, use my boxing skills and just be picking him off.”

Should Selby make a successful fourth defence of his title, unification clashes against the likes of WBC champion Gary Russell Junior and WBO holder Oscar Valdez are expected to follow.


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