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Frampton must join the queue: Santa Cruz

By Robert Jones

Further doubt has been cast on Leo Santa Cruz's potential third fight with Carl Frampton.

Santa Cruz defeated the Tigers Bay man in a Vegas rematch to reclaim the title he lost in New York last year but the WBA featherweight champion is weighing up other options.

The Mexican says he wants a unification fight with Welsh IBF champion Lee Selby before facing Frampton again.

Frampton will not welcome the comments, particularly as they follow remarks from Santa Cruz last month stating that his father and trainer Jose was not enthusiastic about a fight in Belfast.

"I think more likely first I would like to unify with Lee Selby," said 28-year-old Santa Cruz.

"Selby is calling me out, so I want to make it with him and get the win and then fight (Abner) Mares or Frampton."

Selby's camp are keen to land a shot at Santa Cruz and they will discuss the prospect with Al Haymon, who advises both fighters.

The Barry boxer stopped Spain's Andoni Gago on the undercard of the Tony Bellew v David Haye bill at the O2 Arena on Saturday and has made it clear he is now a free agent after his four-year agreement with Matchroom concluded.

"We will discuss options with Al Haymon this week," Selby's manager Jamie Sanigar said.

"We want the biggest fights now and a unification with Santa Cruz is top of the list.

"The winner of Selby v Santa Cruz would be king of the castle in the featherweight division."

Selby is supposed to fight mandatory challenger Jonathan Victor Barros next after their previous fight was cancelled at the last minute. A unification fight with Santa Cruz could well be an attractive proposition to both organisations, though the IBF says it has heard nothing on a potential unification duel and expect Selby's camp to negotiate with Barros.

"Selby and Barros have been ordered to negotiate again. They have until April 2," the IBF stated. "We have not been approached about a unification and Selby will likely have to fight Barros prior to a unification with Santa Cruz."

Santa Cruz believes a unification fight with Selby would be the preferable option.

"I want to fight the best. There is Lee Selby, I want to unify against him, Abner Mares, Carl Frampton, I will fight any of them. But I think more likely first I would like to unify with Lee Selby, I don't know about a date yet. We will talk about it."

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