Carl Frampton [23(14)-1(0)] has paid tribute to rival Lee Selby following a difficult month for the Welshman and notes that he would like to take on the Barry boxer before the end of 2017.
IBF featherweight champion Selby [25(9)-1(0)] defended his belt in London on July 15th against mandatory challenger Jonathan Victor Barros, just days after the death of his mother.
Frampton fights this Saturday in a comeback bout against Mexican Andres Gutierrez [35(25)-1(0)-1] at the SSE Odyssey Arena, and can’t help but note that there is a domestic showdown potentially looming on the horizon.
Looking back at the Selby-Barros fight in London, for which he was ringside, Frampton wrote in his Sunday Life column that “all credit to him for doing it just a few days after his mother had passed away.”
“I don’t think I could have gone in and fought but he did and beat his mandatory challenger Jonathan Barros and afterwards he was talking again about a fight with me and that’s one that I would be up for. The timing would seem to be right for the fight.”
“Selby is a boxer who I’ve always respected and I know how hard it would be.”
While stressing his focus on his upcoming Mexican test, Frampton admits there is big interest in a fight with ‘Lightning’ Lee.
“I’m not looking past Gutierrez in any shape or form,” outlined ‘The Jackal,’ “but it’s natural for people to look at the two of us and want to see the fight happen – in the same way that they wanted to see me fight Scott Quigg at super bantamweight,”
“Fans want to see who’s the best in Britain and it’s a natural fight. We did try hard to make it before but I think it should be relatively easy to do if I do what I expect this Saturday night – and of course that the numbers add up.”
Team Frampton had hoped to box Selby this Summer, but negotiations would break down due to the issue of the Barros mandatory. Afterwards Frampton and his team would concede they were perhaps overly reliant on taking on his fellow 30 year old, leaving them with limited options for this weekend and leading to the selection of the relatively unheralded Gutierrez.
This time round the Belfast boxer is hesitant to place all his eggs in the Selby basket – however he acknowledges that it is the best fight out there for him.
Frampton reasoned that “Selby isn’t the only option I would have in terms of a world title shot but the all-British battles do create a lot of interest.”
“All being well this Saturday, I expect to be fighting again before the end of the year so I can finally enjoy Christmas for the first time in years and a world title fight with Selby would be perfect.”