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Carl Frampton: I can move up for third-weight world title

By David Kelly

Ambitious Carl Frampton says he is aiming to join an elite group of fighters by becoming a three-weight World champion.

WBA World featherweight champion Frampton makes the first defence of his title in a re-match with the man he dethroned, Leo Santa Cruz, on January 28 at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas and, if victorious, there is the strong possibility of a unification showdown with IBF champion Lee Selby at Windsor Park in the summer.

But Frampton also believes he has the ability to jump up another division to super-featherweight and clash with the man recognised as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the World, Vasyl Lomachenko, who defends his WBO 9st 4lb crown this Saturday night against Nicholas Walters.

"Being a boxer is about having big fights, but it's also about making money. I think the TV companies would like a fight between myself and Lomachenko," said Frampton.

"It'd be appealing to them - whereas a fight between myself and Guillermo Rigondeaux wouldn't. The TV companies don't want to show him. That's the difference. Although it'd be an amazing win for myself, the money's not there for me in the Rigo fight, whereas the Lomachenko fight would enhance my legacy and increase my bank balance. Money is important when you have two young kids and a wife to support."

The Jackal, responding to the questions of fans in the annual of the boxing trade paper Boxing News, hailed the class of Lomachenko.

"He's one of those fighters who people are kind of in awe of when he fights. He's a class act. Some of the things he does in the ring, I've never seen anything like it before."

As for a possible Windsor Park title fight, the Jackal believes a clash with Selby would be ideal.

"I think Lee Selby would be a big fight. I really respect him, and I'm not one to bad-mouth him. I've been open and honest with the fact that I think he's one of the most skilled fighters in the UK, but I believe that I'd beat him."

  One man who doesn't seem to be on his radar is old rival Scott Quigg, whom Frampton comprehensively outpointed earlier this year. The Bury man, whose jaw was broken in their February clash, has been regularly calling for a re-match.

"There was nothing in the contract that said there has to be a rematch. I can't see a rematch with Quigg happening because I don't think it's a fight that people would want to see again," says Frampton, who is also keen on a clash with WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez.

"These are the fights that I want - big fights that are rewarding for me and my family. Oscar Valdez would be one of them. "It'd be a unification fight, and it'd be financially rewarding, so I'd definitely be interested in that fight."

Asked about who would win between himself and his manager Barry McGuigan at his peak, Frampton said: "I think Barry's style is not a good one to fight for anyone. He keeps coming forward, and he's frantic and non-stop. It'd be a hard fight. You ask me, and I'll say Barry would win. But if you ask Barry, he'll say I would win. On this occasion, I'll say it'd be a draw."

*For full interview and lots more, get the Boxing News Annual, or to pre-order now at shop.nqsm.com/boxingnews

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