Talks take place for Lee Selby vs Carl Frampton ahead of Eric Hunter world title defence
If Barry Town’s ‘Sugar’ Lee Selby (22-1, 8KO) overcomes unknown American Eric Hunter (21-11KO) on Saturday, a super-fight with Belfast’s Carl Frampton will be one step closer.
Both Selby’s and Frampton’s representatives confirmed to BoxingWales.com that preliminary talks have taken place and a meeting of the IBF featherweight and super-bantamweight world champions is a real possibility in the near future.
First, Selby faces switch-hitting mandatory challenger Hunter at London’s O2 Arena on Sky Sports Box Office. The Welshman won’t be the star attraction of Matchroom Sport’s show, though – he will share the spotlight with 2012 Olympic gold medalist Anthony Joshua, who will attempt to dethrone IBF world heavyweight champion Charles Martin.
Meanwhile, Frampton’s next outing is likely to be a mandatory defence too, as both the IBF and WBA have ordered ‘The Jackal’ to defend his 122lb belts against their highest ranked contenders, Shingo Wake and Guillermo Rigondeaux respectively. Frampton, who like Selby has signed an advisory agreement with mysterious American Al Haymon, was the star attraction when he out-pointed England’s Scott Quigg in February’s blockbuster pay-per-view event.
However, they will cross paths soon if they both extend their winning streaks, insists Bristol based Jamie Sanigar, the long term manager of Selby.
He said: “We’ve talked about it. It’s something that is on a collision course, you know? I think they’ve made no secret of the fact that Carl will look to move to featherweight [4lbs heavier than super-bantamweight] in the future and Selby is comfortable at featherweight. We don’t plan to move on.
“It’s a fight that will hopefully make sense in the future. I don’t think it’s going to happen immediately but maybe towards the end of the year or early next year. Both sides have a good working relationship, so we won’t start arguing over dressing rooms.”
Last week, Cyclone Promotions were in Wales to announce their terrestrial broadcasted summer show at the Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff Bay, a joint venture with Sanigar Events which will feature IBF world bantamweight champion Lee Haskins. International Boxing Hall of Fame entrant Barry McGuigan, the face of the outfit who also manages Frampton, was more cautious but admitted both sides have spoken about the Selby fight.
McGuigan, a former featherweight world champion himself, said: “We’ve already mentioned that, we’ve spoken to them [Selby’s team] about that. There’s always a possibility of that down the road and we are developing relationships with them.
“We have to see what’s Carl’s next fight is going to be. Is it going to be Shingo Wake, Nonito Donaire, [Hugo] Ruiz for the WBC title or is it going to be [Leo] Santa Cruz? That still has to be sorted out, we haven’t sat down for proper negotiations or discussions yet because we’ve been tied up with all of this. The train keeps moving but those are all distinct possibilities.”
Selby hasn’t fought in Wales since soundly out-pointing Mexico’s Romulo Koasicha in a WBC title eliminator at the 5,000 seater capacity Motorpoint Arena in May 2014. For Wales’ 12th world champion to fight back in his home country, Sanigar says that it will take a super fight to fill the Millennium Stadium and make it possible. Frampton, who took more than 10,000 fans across the Irish Sea to Manchester for the aforementioned Quigg unification, would fit the requirement.
Sanigar said: “Obviously, we have Lee Selby flying the flag for Welsh boxing and we want to get him back there in South Wales. It’s very difficult with the venue situation, though. He’s sort of too big for the Motorpoint Arena and the Ice Arena Wales but he’s too small for the Millennium Stadium, unless you can get exactly the right fight.
“If we can get the Frampton fight or another super fight, the Millennium Stadium will be an option. That’s the one frustrating thing about South Wales, we haven’t got that 10,000 or 12,000 seater arena that you have in some other cities but it’s still exciting times.”
Image by Matchroom Sport and Premier Boxing Champions.