Sunday 31 July 2016 5:43 pm

Victory over Leo Santa Cruz puts me in touching distance of boxing superstardom, insists WBA featherweight champion Carl Frampton

Ross McLean is a sports reporter at City A.M.

Ross McLean is a sports reporter at City A.M.

History-maker Carl Frampton insists his WBA featherweight title victory over Leo Santa Cruz in the early hours of Sunday morning represented a giant stride towards him assuming superstar status.

Former super-bantamweight king Frampton is the first Northern Irish fighter to become a two-weight world champion following his points victory over Santa Cruz – the Mexican’s first career defeat – in New York.

“It’s a huge statement. It puts me close to being a top-10 pound-for-pound fighter, and while I don’t want to sound bumptious or big-headed, close to being a superstar in the boxing world,” said the 29-year-old.

“I’ve made a bit of history and people will remember that and I feel like I’ve created a bit of a legacy too.”

Frampton made the decision to move up to his new weight category in February having unified the IBF and WBA super-bantamweight titles with victory over Scott Quigg, and believes he will have plenty of options at his disposal.

“I’m in the driving seat now and big names will want this title and this belt that I’ve got. They’ll come for me,” he added.

“But who knows what is next? Maybe a re-match with Santa Cruz, maybe a fight with [IBF featherweight champion] Lee Selby, that would be a big fight. But it doesn’t matter, I’m ready for anyone. I just want to be involved in big fights from here on in.”