Selby wants Warrington and Frampton in 2018
By Marcus Richardson: If things go as plans, IBF World featherweight champion Lee Selby will face Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton in 2018. The fight against Warrington (20-0, 6 KOs) is a given, as he’s ranked No.1 with the International Boxing Federation, but Frampton (24-1, 14 KOs) is a different story.
That’s a fight that will only happen if Frampton wants it to. Selby (25-1, 9 KOs) says he’s willing to fight Frampton in Belfast. He’ll go to his hometown to take the fight if it means getting the match.
Selby will be making his 5th defense of his IBF 126 lb. title next month on December 9 against Eduardo Ramirez (20-0-3, 7 KOs). This is a voluntary defense for Selby.
This is the right time for Selby to fight Frampton, as he’s showing signs of slowing down and deterioration from his recent hard fights against Leo Santa Cruz and Scott Quigg.
Selby has Frampton where he wants him right now if he can get a fight against him next year before he loses to someone else. Santa Cruz already beat Frampton earlier this year in January. Frampton was almost beaten by Horacio Garcia this month on November 18 in Belfast. Frampton was given a 10 round decision, but it could have gone the other way.
“I can’t see Santa Cruz coming to Belfast, no chance,” Selby said to ESPN.com. “Carl’s best chance of a world title fight in Belfast is against me. The other world champions won’t leave America to fight him. Top Rank won’t allow [WBO titleholder] Oscar Valdez to go to Belfast either.”
There’s little chance that Santa Cruz and Oscar Valdez will travel to Belfast to fight Frampton over there. Santa Cruz’s father isn’t going to agree to that. Valdez’s promoters at Top Rank realize how important he is. They’re not going to put him at risk of losing a hometown decision to Frampton in the UK. Selby needs guys like Warrington and Frampton, because he’s not fully taken advantage of his time as the IBF champion in the last 2 years since beating Evgeny Gradovich by a 12 round decision to win the title in 2015.
Selby said at the time he was going to take a few voluntary defenses before he started looking for the bigger fights, and he’s done that. Unfortunately, Selby has used up 2 years of his career taking nothing but voluntary defenses, and he has little to show for it.
“But I’ve got no problem going to Belfast to fight, I would prefer it, because you feel like the underdog, the pressure will be on him,” said Selby.
Selby must get past his title defense against Eduardo Ramirez on December 9 next month at the Copper Box Arena in London, UK. After that, Selby will have the fight against Josh Warrington in early 2018. That’ll be a good money fight for Selby. If he can top 2018 off with a fight against Frampton, it would be an ideal year.
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