Russell dares Selby to unify, offers Santa Cruz WBC title shot

Phil Jay 01/08/2016

Stephanie Trapp

WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. called on Lee Selby to agree a unification during a Showtime interview on the back of Carl Frampton’s impressive win over Leo Santa Cruz.

Russell and Selby were asked their views on the Frampton triumph in New York, and as the Welshman favoured a meeting with the Irishman in a high-profile UK clash, the green and gold belt holder was highly unimpressed.

“I want to address something that that Lee Selby said. He said that no one knows who Gary Russell is. Well, everyone knows who the WBC featherweight champ is, and it’s Mr. Gary Russell,” he said.

“We are both men and I expect you to conduct yourself as a man. Don’t use this as an out to try to avoid fighting me.”

Furthermore, Russell then offered losing party Santa Cruz an immediate shot at his championship despite talk of a rematch with Frampton in Belfast.

“Look, I like the red belt. I want to add it to my collection. And as for Leo Santa Cruz, he wants to avenge the loss I gave him in amateurs. So, me and Leo, we can make it happen.”

As it stands, Russell v Santa Cruz would be the more likely fight, although that may depend on what route Frampton now wants to take.

Should ‘The Jackal’ be hell bent of heading to Ireland for his next defence, Russell and Santa Cruz would have on obstacles in the way, which would then leave Selby with a solid case to be in the opposite corner to Frampton in any homecoming.