Carl Frampton lost to Leo Santa Cruz in Las Vegas last month
The 28-year-old fighter won back his WBA featherweight title in Las Vegas last month, winning by majority decision – just as he had lost in New York six months before.
Frampton had thousands of Northern Irish fans follow him to the US and revealed after the defeat that he expected Santa Cruz to fight him a third time.
"I'm hoping that Leo sticks to his word and comes to Belfast like he said. He can make it happen," said Frampton in the ring.
Carl Frampton had won the world title from Leo Santa Cruz but then lost it again in the rematch
But now the Mexican looks set to renege on any informal agreement on the advice of his father and trainer Jose.
"My dad is scared that if I go over there, and even if I beat Carl Frampton, the people and the judges are going to be an influence," Santa Cruz told Villainfy Media.
"He thinks that even if I beat him I'll have the victory taken away from me.
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"My dad says not to go over there, because it would be a really bad decision and, you know, he is right and everything.
"But if I go over there and I get the win and beat him, for all the fans to see that I win, that's all that matters.
"Hopefully they see that I win and they give me that.
Leo Santa Cruz is worried he would not get a fair fight in Belfast
"It's very important, he's my father, he's been there my whole life, my whole career.
"I always listen to my dad."
The news would appear to come as no surprise to legendary boxer Barry McGuigan, who manages Frampton and hinted that a rematch in Northern Ireland was far from guaranteed.
"The location might be the sticking point," McGuigan said last month.
“A lot of these guys slip out of these things that they commit to and then they don’t want to do.”