Carl Frampton has already begun dreaming of unifying the featherweight division after declaring interest in facing IBF champion Lee Selby later this year, if he overcomes Leo Santa Cruz for a second time in Las Vegas. The Northern Irishman, who currently holds the WBA 'super' crown, is seeking to defend the title he won from the Mexican last July when he became a two-weight world champion.
Frampton prevailed via a majority decision against Santa Cruz last summer after a bruising and close battle which saw the 29-year-old pushed to his limit. The Belfast-born boxer is confident of repeating the trick this weekend at the MGM Grand — so much so that he has already begun looking ahead to future challenges.
'The Jackal' has persistently been linked with a meeting with Selby since going up a weight class, with the two Al Heymon-managed fighters due to appear on the same bill in Nevada. Trainer Shane McGuigan has previously indicated he is hopeful the clash takes place, and Frampton is certainly keen.
"I think that's a huge fight," Frampton told Sky Sports. "It's appealing to the boxing public, especially in the UK. Maybe not so much in the States, but it's a big fight in this part of the world. I believe, although Lee has been more established as a featherweight, and he's had a few defences of his title, I believe I'm the draw in that fight. I'm the one that sells the tickets and if the fight is going to happen, it happens on our terms and happens in Belfast.
"If he's willing to come to Belfast and have a unification fight with me in the summer after I beat Santa Cruz, then I'm happy to have it. He's a very good fighter, he's someone who I have talked about a lot and I respect him.
"I think him and his brother Andrew are two of the most skilful fighters in the UK, but I just want to be involved in these big fights. It's another unification fight, it's another chance for me to create more of a legacy and more history. These are the type of fights that I want to be involved in."
Selby defends his own world title for a third time on the undercard against Jonathan Victor Barros. Meanwhile, Frampton already has experience of an all-British unification fight, having beaten Scott Quigg in Manchester in February 2016 while at super bantamweight.