Lee Selby wants Leo Santa Cruz after dispatching Fernando Montiel

Lee Selby has claimed his days of fighting domestic rivals are over. Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Lee Selby has targeted Mexican Leo Santa Cruz after making a successful first defence of his IBF world featherweight title in Arizona on Wednesday night.

The Welshman earned a unanimous points decision with scores of 116-112, 118-110 and 119-109 over Mexican Fernando Montiel (54-5-2, 39 KOs) at the Gila River Arena.

Selby (22-1, 8 KOs), 28, claimed he was disappointed with his performance but wants to continue boxing in America - rather than showing an interest in fighting Leeds' unbeaten Josh Warrington (22-0, 4 KOs) in the UK - and says Santa Cruz would be his ideal opponent.

"I am really happy to have got a win under my belt in America, where I want to make it, but I would have preferred a better performance," Selby said. "Myself and my team have to look at it, look at the options and see what is out there for us.

"We won't make any snap decisions but it has got to be another world class performer. My days of fighting domestic level boxers are over. I want to take on the best out there and whoever that is, if the deal is right, then bring it on."

Santa Cruz (31-01, 17 KOs), 27, won a world title in a third division when he captured the WBA featherweight title with a majority decision over fellow Mexican Abner Mares in August. Santa Cruz has also expressed an interest in fighting Selby, who wants to face his rival champion next.

"I've loved fighting in America and I can't wait to do it again, hopefully with a better display," Selby added. "You can't be 10 out of 10 all the time, especially against really high class opponents, but I would have liked to impress more.

"To be honest, after a fight like that, I want to get back in the ring straight away. I want to prove myself as the best featherweight in the world so that means taking on the top fighters.

"Leo Santa Cruz is a name that have been mentioned and I'd have no problem fighting him at all. I'd love that. I saw his fight with Abner Mares, which was good, so I have seen at first hand what he can do. That would be a great fight for me. I only want the big names and Santa Cruz certainly belongs in that category."

Selby admitted Montiel, who is a former three-weight world champion at flyweight, super-flyweight and bantamweight, made the fight awkward for him at times. Selby made good use of his four-inch height advantage by using his jab and work-rate to control most of the fight, although he suffered a cut in the sixth round and Montiel enjoyed some success in the middle rounds.

"It was awkward in there and you have to say fair play to Montiel as he is a really clever fighter who knows how to make it difficult for you," Selby said. "I was missing with a fair number of shots and was that because my timing was off or because he was so good at getting out the way? It was probably a bit of both."