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Respect from Amir Khan but did Carl Frampton overtrain, asks McAuley?

By David Kelly

Former World champion Amir Khan was lost in admiration for Carl Frampton after the Belfast man lost his WBA World featherweight title in another epic duel with Leo Santa Cruz.

Khan, at ringside in the MGM Grand Garden Arena, like everyone else is keen to see a third fight between the two great warriors but isn't sure if it should happen right away after such another tough 12 rounds.

"It was a great fight and both fighters deserve so much respect because they both fought so well.

It was like watching two Mexican fighters, it brought back memories to me of legends Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales who had three great fights and now it looks these two have to have a third fight," said Khan.

"I'm now a really big Carl Frampton fan - I didn't realise how good he could be. I wouldn't like to be down a dark alley with him. He could probably give me a really good go.

"I had Santa Cruz up by two points but it was very close. Both fighters for the sake of their bodies probably need to take a break, maybe have a nice holiday and then do the third fight next year.

"They can have a fight in between and then do the third fight. It was too brutal, 24 rounds of that kind of action is too tough on the body."

IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby, who left Las Vegas having not had the opportunity to defend his title after Dejan Zlaticanin failed his medical, says he would love to step in and fight Santa Cruz or Frampton if the third fight cannot be made.

"I would love to fight Leo Santa Cruz next or even Carl. I'm the IBF featherweight champion, I said I'd come to Belfast but now as the champion I would say to Carl to come to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and fight me," said Selby.

"I thought it was the right result, he just nicked it - he was just getting the better of the rounds but it could have been a draw and fighting here in Vegas he was going to get it."

Former world flyweight champion Dave 'Boy' McAuley, from Larne, felt Frampton may have over-trained.

"For whatever reason, Carl just did not look the figher we know him to be.

"He started slowly and it is possible he may have done too much in the gym. His tactics weren't right either. Let us hope he gets a chance to put right whatever went wrong."

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