Announcement imminent on Lee Selby’s third world title defence, likely to be on Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz rematch show in Las Vegas

Announcement imminent on Lee Selby’s third world title defence, likely to be on Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz rematch show in Las Vegas

The third world title defence of Barry’s ‘Sugar’ Lee Selby (23-1, 8KO) is on the verge of being confirmed and announced, understands.

The Welshman will have to face the mandatory challenger to his IBF featherweight belt, Argentina’s Jonathan Victor Barros (41-4-1, 22KO).

It’s very likely that the contest will take place in the fight capital of the world at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, America on Saturday 28 January 2017.

Barros reigned as WBA world champion in 2010/11 but was dethroned in his third defence, a rematch against Celestino Cabarello. Since then, he suffered a trio of defeats to world class opposition in Yuriorkis Gamboa, Juan Carlos Salgado and Mikey Garcia – the only man to stop him inside the distance. However, Barros is unbeaten in seven fights since 2013, including an away-day win against Japan’s Satoshi Hosono.

Northern Ireland’s newly crowned WBA world champion Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton will headline the show in a rematch against Mexico’s Leo Santa Cruz following their 2016 Fight of the Year contender in July.

Selby has one fight left on his contract with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport and it’s likely to be the end of their four-year run together. The two parties have had a strained relationship since Selby signed an advisory agreement with the secretive American facilitator Al Haymon.

Earlier today, it was revealed that Frampton-Santa Cruz II will be shown live on Sky Sports, who are also the exclusive broadcasters of Hearn’s stable of 40 fighters. It presumably clears the way for Selby to be added to the line-up, which could have been contractually complicated if it landed on a rival television station.

The idea of a meeting between Selby and Frampton, who is also advised by Haymon, has long been mooted. It would be one of the highest quality domestic match-ups that could be made and Frampton has expressed his desire for it to take place at an outdoor venue in Belfast. Both teams, Sanigar Events and Cyclone Promotions share a healthy working relationship and confirmed earlier this year that preliminary talks have been held.

Selby, Wales’ 12th world champion, is currently in Spain for warm weather training. The camp has included sparring with Yorkshire’s former domestic super-bantamweight champion Kid Galahad, who won in Cardiff last month.

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