Carl Frampton wants to become a three-weight world champion
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 12/08/16 10:21pm
Carl Frampton wants to make history by becoming the first Irishman to win world titles at three different weights.
The Belfast fighter defeated Mexican star Leo Santa Cruz in Brooklyn last month to capture the WBA featherweight title, having previously held the unified WBA and IBF super-bantamweight titles.
The victory earned 'The Jackal' the belt his manager Barry McGuigan won in 1985 and saw him join Steve Collins as the only Irishman to become a world champion at two different weight divisions.
He said: "(I am) the only ever Northern Irishman to win a world title in two divisions, only the second ever Irishman after Steve Collins to win world titles in two different divisions, I would like to have a go at three and stand out on my own."
Frampton appeared at a special homecoming event in the grounds of Belfast City Hall with promoter McGuigan to celebrate his landmark win.
The 29-year-old is open to a rematch with Santa Cruz as well as a unification bout with IBF champion Lee Selby, which he hinted could come before Christmas.
"Selby is a great fighter, he is someone I respect, I think he is very good, but I just believe me at featherweight now, I don't think there is anyone stopping me, I just feel so strong and whoever wants it next can get it," he said.
"I am in the driving seat, I can call the shots, but we will see where we go, I will let the team decide, but I love Belfast and I want to fight here as much as possible.
"I want to fight here at least once a year and Windsor Park in the summer would be a dream come true."
Frampton's win over Santa Cruz helped him raise his profile in America and saw him earn a spot in the top ten of Ring Magazine's famed pound-for-pound rankings.
"To actually crack it and get inside, it is great, it is unbelievable, I feel like it is a big achievement and am very happy to be mixing with the sort of guys that are in the top 10," he said.
The fight against Santa Cruz is a contender for fight of the year and it was a clash in which Frampton just about came out on top via majority points decision after a back and forth war.
Frampton admits he could have made life easier for himself if he had kept to his game plan more but says he knew he had the ability to hurt Santa Cruz early in the fight.
"When a fighter smiles at you, you can tell that something is wrong and they are trying to play a game. I knew that I was hurting him throughout the fight," he said.
"I fought with my heart rather than my head at times. I could have made the fight much easier for myself but to be honest I was glad that it was a good fight. It is good for my legacy having fights like that with Santa Cruz."