Lee Selby keen to face Leo Santa Cruz v Carl Frampton winner and Gary Russell Jr

Lee Selby (R) wants a big-name fight later this year
Image: Lee Selby (R) wants a big-name fight later this year

Lee Selby is eager to take on any rival world champion after two potential fights fell by the wayside.

The IBF world featherweight champion had been expected to face either domestic rival Josh Warrington or WBA 'Super' king Leo Santa Cruz but after the talks with the former broke down and the latter opted to face Carl Frampton, Selby is yet to confirm his next opponent.

Gary Russell Jr, who Selby believes "has the fastest hands in boxing" holds the WBC title while the WBO version is vacant by virtue of Vasyl Lomachenko's step up to super-featherweight.

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Selby got off the floor in the second round and outclassed Eric Hunter

The landscape of the division is of little concern to 'The Welsh Mayweather' (23-1-KO8), who simply wishes to secure a big-name fight as soon as possible with particular designs on conquering the American market.

He exclusively told Sky Sports: "I need to get a win over either Russell Jr, Santa Cruz or Frampton. That will catapult me to the top or very near to it. I want all the champions at featherweight. You've also got Abner Mares fighting Jesus Cuellar for the WBA regular title.

Leo Santa Cruz wants to fight either Carl Frampton or Gary Russell next
Image: Leo Santa Cruz faces Carl Frampton on July 30

"Myself, Santa Cruz, Frampton, Cuellar, Mares and Russell Jr are all advised by Al Haymon so all those fights are in-house and could be easily made. If I could beat one of the American-based fighters over there, I'd turn into a big star over there because they're big names.

"My next opponent will be a top-class fighter and beyond that, I'll most definitely be targeting the winner of Santa Cruz against Frampton.

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"If Frampton wins then we can have a massive unification fight over in the UK. If he can keep his footwork up for the full 12 rounds and keep Santa Cruz's pressure off, then he could win.

Russell Jr. celebrates after the second-round stoppage
Image: Russell Jr. has only ever lost to Lomachenko

"If Frampton stops and holds his feet like he did late on in the fight against Scott Quigg then Santa Cruz can capitalise with that relentless style of his. He'll just be on him constantly so Frampton really needs to keep his feet moving or Santa Cruz will win.

"Physically, they're both super-bantamweights, really. Santa Cruz has only fought up at featherweight recently and they were against former super-bantamweights, too. He hasn't boxed a true featherweight yet and obviously neither has Frampton."

Selby became world champion in May 2015 when he produced a systematic destruction of Evgeny Gradovich at The O2, and has since made defences against Fernando Montiel and Eric Hunter.

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