Former two-weight king Carl Frampton returns to action this Saturday night when he will face hungry Mexican contender Andres Gutierrez in a WBC featherweight elimination bout, and although “The Jackal” – last seen losing his belt and unbeaten record in a return bout with Leo Santa Cruz – is not overlooking Gutierrez, he is talking about the fight he would like next.
With a trilogy fight with Santa Cruz off the schedule, for now at least (it must happen one day, so great was fight-one, the two now all even at 1-1) Frampton is eyeing a shot at IBF featherweight champ Lee Selby. This fight, one that has been talked about as a real possibility for some time now, would be a big fight in the UK.
Frampton says fans are asking to see who the best featherweight in Britain is: he or Selby.
“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,” Frampton wrote in his column for Sunday Life. “Selby did the business when he retained his IBF title and all credit to him for doing it just a few days after his mother had passed away. Fans want to see who’s the best in Britain and it’s a natural fight. The Selby fight would be great but I just have to focus on Gutierrez. He’s relentless and I have to be on my game – and I will be.”
Frampton is a great fighter who can pretty much do it all: brawl if he has to, box on the back-foot, go to the body and take a punch when he has to. Selby is a good boxer who can also rumble when the need arises. Put them together, and we have a potential thriller.
First though, Frampton, 23-1(14) must take care of business against Gutierrez, 35-1-1(25) and six years the younger man at age 24. Never stopped (the loss coming against Cristian Mijares in his last-but-one fight, the draw being with Jesus Ruiz back in 2011) Gutierrez is taking a big step up in class but he is determined and confident-sounding. To keep his hopes of a Selby fight alive, as well as a third fight with Santa Cruz, Frampton can not afford one mistake. Look for the Irish warrior to win a pretty hard-fought decision.
UK fight fans can catch the action live, and for free, on terrestrial Channel 5.