Carl Frampton believes that Leo Santa Cruz will agree to face him in a WBC title clash provided Carl wins his eliminator with Hugo Cazares. After failing to secure a shot at IBF holder Kiko Martinez, Team Cyclone were forced to change their plans and take advantage of a high ranking with the World Boxing Council.

“We tried to go the IBF route but Kiko Martinez didn’t want to fight,” lamented ‘The Jackal’.

“When the champion doesn’t want to fight the mandatory it can put fights off for a year or a year and half.”

The 26-year-old is now targeting Leo Santa Cruz’s WBC belt instead. That bout is far more likely to come off, with Santa Cruz making positive noises about a Frampton fight later this year. Those comments were made on the assumption that both boxers come through interim bouts. Carl’s date with Cazares is fast approaching on April 4 and is all the more important now that Santa Cruz has completed his part of the bargain by beating Cristian Mijares.

“He’s the champion and putting away Cazares means I get to fight him,” said Frampton. “As for Kiko he got knocked out and then got a lucky shot at the champion and beat him so who would want to go and fight the guy again that already knocked you out? He said what he wanted but when push came to shove he didn’t want to fight.”

Frampton also revealed that he was present at the meeting when his promotional team offered Kiko’s team big money to accept the fight. He elaborated that it was no exaggeration to suggest that the purse was ten times’ more than he got paid the last time they met, in an EBU clash at the Odyssey.

“If he’d took that fight with me this year then he would have been the highest paid super-bantamweight in the world and he didn’t take it,” added the former European super-bantamweight champion.

“It’s been a little bit frustrating but that’s through no fault of our own. We have been trying to make fights against the top guys in the world and we are putting ourselves in a position where they are going to have to fight us now. We were led down a path a little bit by the IBF after the Martinez-Mathebula fight but I believe 100 per cent that I’ll fight for a world title this year.”

Photograph: Brian Peters Promotions

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