March 27, 2017
March 27, 2017
Lee Selby

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IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby has a plethora of exciting options for his next fight later this year.

He was scheduled to make a mandatory defence of his belt against Johnny Barros in January, but a failed medical exam from the challenger scuppered the fight. Instead, Selby boxed in a non-title fight earlier this month.

His team are still in discussions with the IBF as to what happens next. The IBF had initially ordered Selby and Barros to re-enter negotiations for a new date, but with the Argentinian’s medical status still unclear Selby may be allowed to move in a different direction.

That would be a fight with one of the other big players in the division, Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Gary Russell Jnr and, most notably, Carl Frampton.

“They’re all on the same timeline and they all work with Al Haymon, so there are some good options and Lee wants to be in a big, big fight,” Selby’s manager, Jamie Sanigar, told Boxing News.

“We speak with Carl’s team [Cyclone Promotions] regularly, we’re working with them on an upcoming show [Craig Kennedy’s recheduled fight for the vacant British cruiserweight title] so we’re speaking quite a lot at the moment. The Frampton fight’s a possibility, it’s whether Carl wants the fight really. It’s a real possibility though.”

Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz

Selby is aiming to box in June or July, while Frampton has confirmed his next fight will be in his hometown of Belfast. He is eager for a rematch with Santa Cruz, who outpointed him in January after the Ulsterman won their first fight last year, but is also open to a lucrative clash with Welshman Selby.

Lee’s promotional agreement with Matchroom Boxing also came to an end with his outing in London on the David Haye-Tony Bellew undercard, meaning he is now a free agent.

“It gives us a lot of freedom, which is good,” Sanigar continued. “We can work with whoever we want, in the UK we’re seeing some new players on the scene in the form of [broadcasters] ITV and BT Sport. There are options in America as well.

“Also, there’s no reason we can’t work with Eddie [Hearn] again in the future, it wasn’t an acrimonious split or anything like that.”

Selby also has a good relationship with Haye – who has teamed up with Richard Schaefer to create Hayemaker Ringstar Promotions – after the former two-weight champion worked to secure Lee a place on the London undercard on March 4.

Sanigar expects an agreement with the IBF to be made within the next 10 days, after which they can make their next move.