Lee Selby keen to set up Carl Frampton unification fight after title defence in December

Lee Selby
Image: IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby will face Jonathan Barros

Lee Selby wants to get mandatory challenger Jonathan Victor Barros out of the way so he can turn his attentions to a unification fight with Carl Frampton.

The IBF featherweight champion was out in Japan to watch former world champion Barros beat home fighter Satoshi Hosono in the final eliminator last Saturday.

Selby (23-1-KO8) admits Argentinian Barros is a genuine threat but wants to face him in December and then put his belt on the line against WBA champion Frampton next.

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Frampton may have a rematch with Leo Santa Cruz - the man he dethroned in July - first, but Selby wants to start the unification ball rolling as soon as he can.

"Barros is next and it needs to be done before early January, but I want it done as soon as possible, hopefully early December," he told Sky Sports.

"Everyone knows I want a unification fight with Frampton and I am sure everyone wants to see it.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 30:  Leo Santa Cruz of Mexico (gold trunks) fights Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland (blue trunks) during their  12 round WBA Super  fe
Image: Carl Frampton (left) holds the WBA featherweight world title

"Let's be honest, how can we call ourselves the best featherweight in the world when we don't even know who the best in Britain is.

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"I have to deal with the mandatory but I want the unification with Frampton in the spring time next year. I want to and will prove I am the best out there."

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Lee Selby's manager Chris Sanigar says they would love a fight against fellow featherweight world champion Carl Frampton

Selby was ringside at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo to see former WBA featherweight world champion Barros (41-4-1-KO22) edge out Hosono on a split decision.

The 'Welsh Mayweather' had watched clips of both fighters before the fight and admits that his new No 1 challenger surprised him.

"When I watched him on YouTube he looked like a straightforward fighter but watched him live he was unorthodox, he was throwing punches from all angles and he was hitting hard," he said.

"The Japanese guy would've suited me better, but I will do," he said.

Jonathan Barros (L) of Argentina, former WBA featherweight world champion
Image: Barros will be Selby's mandatory challenger

"It will probably be out in America. I'd love to defend my world title in Cardiff but the arenas make it difficult.

"The Motorpoint  holds 4,000 and isn't big enough and then, especially at this time of year, the next step up is the Millennium Stadium, which is too big for this one.

"But a unification fight with Frampton would sell that out. No problem at all." 

Selby has not boxed since defending his title against American, Eric Hunter, in April, on Sky Sports Box Office, when Anthony Joshua was crowned world heavyweight champion.

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