Carl Frampton promises big name Windsor fight as he rules out Santa Cruz
Carl Frampton has ruled out a World title rematch against Leo Santa Cruz at Windsor Park this summer, but he insists it will happen sometime.
The Jackal lost his WBA featherweight title to the Mexican in Las Vegas at the start of the year and has made no secret of his desire to complete a trilogy of fights between the pair in front of a full house Windsor Park crowd and show he is the world's best.
"I'm not optimistic it'll be my next fight - he is not playing ball," said Frampton, who famously became the first Northern Ireland fighter to win World titles in two weight classes (super-bantamweight and featherweight) by defeating Santa Cruz in their first encounter in New York last year.
"It's one apiece and it'll have to happen before the end of our careers. If ever there was a time this was it. It could have happened now. Things happen in this game, but we will see."
With Santa Cruz ruled out, having publicly stated his reluctance to come to Belfast, attention now shifts to IBF champion Lee Selby for a July/August Windsor showdown.
"There are a few names in the hat and when I know, everyone will know," Frampton added.
"At this stage in my career it has to be a credible name - I can't fight any mugs.
"I still believe, although I lost my last fight, that on my day I'm the best featherweight in the world and I am ready to prove that. If I am performing I'd beat Santa Cruz every day."
On the prospect of fighting in front of his home fans, the Tiger's Bay boxer confirmed: "My next fight will be at Windsor at the end of July or early August.
"Things change all the time in boxing but I am 95% sure it will be at Windsor. We'll get a big name."
Frampton was speaking at the unveiling of a mural on Hill Street in the Belfast's Cathedral Quarter as part of Harp lager's 'Pure Here' campaign. The work showcases some of the best-loved bits of Belfast and some of the city's legendary characters and local celebrities, including the fighter.