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Carl Frampton hungry for a world title showdown with Selby


By David Kelly

Carl Frampton says victory on his homecoming could easily pave the way for a showdown with IBF World featherweight champion Lee Selby.

Frampton returns to the ring this Saturday night at the SSE Arena when he meets Mexican Andres Gutierrez in a WBC World title eliminator but Welshman Selby is clearly the main target for the Jackal.

Negotiations for the two to meet this summer fell through when Selby was forced to make his mandatory title defence against Jonathan Barros 10 days ago and he duly came through in style, going through with the fight despite grieving the loss of his of his mother just days earlier.

"I'm not looking past Gutierrez in any shape or form but it's natural for people to look at the two of us and want to see the fight happen - in the same way that they wanted to see me fight Scott Quigg at super-bantamweight," wrote Frampton in his Sunday Life column.

"Selby did the business when he retained his IBF World featherweight title and all credit to him for doing it just a few days after his mother had passed away.

"I don't think I could have gone in and fought but he did and beat his mandatory challenger Jonathan Barros and afterwards he was talking again about a fight with me and that's one that I would be up for. The timing would seem to be right for the fight.

"Fans want to see who's the best in Britain and it's a natural fight. We did try hard to make it before but I think it should be relatively easy to do if I do what I expect this Saturday night - and of course that the numbers add up.

Selby isn't the only option I would have in terms of a world title shot but the all-British battles do create a lot of interest. Selby is a boxer who I've always respected and I know how hard it would be.

"All being well this Saturday, I expect to be fighting again before the end of the year so I can finally enjoy Christmas for the first time in years and a world title fight with Selby would be perfect."

While a battle with Selby before the end of the year is the goal, Frampton insists he is not taking anything for granted in his fight with 23-year-old Gutierrez who can gatecrash the world scene with an upset victory.

"The Selby fight would be great but I just have to focus on Gutierrez. He's a young, hungry fighter who knows he has the chance to smash his way into the world title picture. He's relentless and I have to be on my game - and I will be.

"My training has gone very well and over the past two weeks in particular, I really started to raise my game and feel good. The weight is great and I'm ready to go."

The supporting bill will feature Coalisland middleweight Conrad Cummings and Belfast welterweight Paddy Gallagher in title fights. Cummings makes the first defence of his WBO European title against Poland's Robert Swierzbinski as he seeks to move up the world ladder.

Celtic champion Gallagher is aiming to give his career a real shot in the arm with victory over Brazils' Ricardo Silva in an IBO continental title fight.

Belfast Telegraph


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