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Carl Frampton aiming to face Santa Cruz, Selby after return

Carl Frampton has his eyes on bigger fights as he gets ready for Saturday’s tune-up.

Carl Frampton v Leo Santa Cruz Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Former super bantamweight and featherweight titleholder Carl Frampton returns to action this coming Saturday in Belfast, when he takes on underdog Horacio Garcia in what is seen as a tune-up return bout for the star in his hometown, following a January loss to Leo Santa Cruz.

Fight fans are understandably eager to know what his bigger plans are after that, though, and he says he’s got some names in mind:

"There are so many big fights — even guys without belts — and there are about seven or eight guys I'd be happy to fight," Frampton told ESPN. "The main one I want is Leo Santa Cruz, it's one each between us and I'd love him to come this side of the Pond but I doubt he will.

"So he is someone I want to fight, [Lee] Selby again, him and [Josh] Warrington are going to fight, but at this point in time I'd be confident Selby would win that fight and I'd be happy to fight the winner."

Frampton (23-1, 14 KO) lost to Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KO) in January, as mentioned before, but did defeat him in July 2016. A rubber match, taking place in the United Kingdom, was discussed, but Santa Cruz’s team turned it down, with the fighter’s father expressing concern about traveling to Frampton’s turf and getting a fair shake.

IBF titleholder Selby (25-1, 9 KO) will face Eduardo Ramirez on December 9 in London, and does have Josh Warrington (26-0, 6 KO) lurking as a mandatory challenger. Warrington beat Dennis Ceylan in an eliminator on October 21.

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