IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby insists he would have no preference between possible future opponents Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz, reiterating that his current focus extends no further than his next fight. The 29-year-old provides the second defence of his belt at London's O2 Arena on Saturday 9 April, taking on brash American Eric "The Outlaw" Hunter on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's maiden world heavyweight title shot against Charles Martin.
Selby earned rave reviews for the confident and effective manner of his performance against Evgeny Gradovich in May 2015, a contest in which he totally outmaneuvered his opponent and deservedly became Wales' 12th world champion after an accidental clash of heads saw proceedings stopped in the eighth round. He retained his title five months later by successfully outpointing the experienced Fernando Montiel in Glendale, Arizona, a 19th consecutive professional victory that has given way to talk of a potentially lucrative showdown with WBA counterpart Santa Cruz or super-bantamweight star Frampton.
When asked which of those two household names he would like to face, Selby told IBTimes UK: "In the UK, Frampton's massive. A fight with me and him would be a huge domestic fight. But a fight in America with Santa Cruz, he's a massive star out there and a worldwide star you could say. A fight with him again would be massive. So either one."
Although the "Welsh Mayweather" is still promoted by Matchroom Sport, in August he signed a three-year contract with Al Haymon. The powerful advisor also counts both Frampton and Santa Cruz among his broad array of clients, a fact that Selby has previously stated should make such fights easier to organise. Despite the potential for more lucrative bouts down the line, however, for now his attention remains firmly fixed on taking care of the mandatory challenger.
"My full focus is on Eric Hunter," he added. "Hopefully I come through that OK. I'll take on any fighter. Any fighter my manager, advisor and team pick out, I'm willing to take."
Hunter has been quite outspoken ahead of his first fight outside of the US, branding the champion a "spoiled kid" and claiming to have never really heard of him, before criticising his performance against Montiel. He caused a further stir at an undercard press conference held at Trinity House on Wednesday (6 April), deflecting two questions from Eddie Hearn with the simple response: "I'm just here to fight."
Selby claims that such barbs do not affect him "one bit", neither does the fact that two of Hunter's three losses to date have come via DQ. Low blows caused a premature end to his encounter with Luis Franco in December 2010, while he was controversially disqualified for hitting on the break during his meeting with Mike Oliver in 2013.
"No, I'm not worried. At the end of the day it's a fight, so Saturday night we're going to fight. He can be aggressive, he can use dirty tactics, whatever. It's a fight at the end of the day anyway, so bring it on."