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Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz third fight in the balance

By David Kelly

Carl Frampton will be hoping a deal can be struck very soon for his third fight with Leo Santa Cruz or he could face having to wait until the end of the year for their trilogy to be completed.

World Boxing Association president Gilberto Mendoza has suggested that Mexican Abner Mares will be nominated as the mandatory challenger to Santa Cruz.

The move would be part of Mendoza's ongoing plan to dispense with the confusing WBA regular world belts - their second tier title. While Santa Cruz is the WBA 'super' champion at featherweight, Mares holds the regular title.

Negotiations are continuing with Cyclone Promotions optimistic they can put in place a deal for Frampton-Santa Cruz III to be staged in Belfast. Even if the mandatory fight for Santa Cruz is announced, it would not be a great hardship for the governing body to simply state that the winner of a third fight with Frampton must then face Mares.

Mendoza said the announcement could come within a week if Santa Cruz and Frampton fail to reach an agreement.

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