Bantamweight title at Stormont. Photo by Sinn Féin through Wikimedia (CC-BY-2.0)
Carl Frampton is set to make his return to the ring later this month in what will be just his second fight since December 2018.
The Jackal is looking to get his career back on track and push for a world title shot again in the near future. Here are three men who are likely to be on his shortlist as potential opponents over the next 12 months.
Frampton called out WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring following his comeback success against Tyler McCreary last November. Some reports suggest the two men have agreed to fight at the back end of this year for the American’s belt.
Herring won his title against Japan’s Masayuko Ito in May 2019. He defended his crown over Lamont Raoch Jr six months later in California.
In order for the fight between Herring and Frampton to remain possible, both men must win their upcoming scheduled bouts. Herring is set to face Jonathan Oquendo in September for the second defence of his title.
Leo Santa Cruz
2020 could be a big year for trilogies in boxing. Tyson Fury is odds-on at 2/7 in the betting to defeat Deontay Wilder in the third instalment of their rivalry, while there is talk about Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez facing off for a third time. Many boxing fans would be delighted if Frampton met Leo Santa Cruz once again in the ring.
Frampton and Santa Cruz produced two very entertaining contests in 2016 and 2107. The Jackal inflicted the only defeat on the American’s professional record so far.
Unfortunately for Frampton, he was not able to follow it up in the rematch a year later. Santa Cruz was awarded the win by the judges in a majority decision.
Although it has been three years now since their second contest, a third chapter in their rivalry would help settle the score. Santa Cruz currently holds belts in the super featherweight and featherweight divisions. It is, therefore, down to Frampton to prove he deserves a shot at one of those titles.
Frampton’s only other defeat as a professional came against Josh Warrington in what was a huge domestic showdown in December 2018. The judges scored that contest 116-112, 116-112 and 116-113, all in favour of Warrington.
Frampton will be keen to avenge that loss to the IBF featherweight champion. Since his success at the Manchester Arena, Warrington has had wins over Kid Galahad and Sofiane Takoucht.
A fight with Warrington would likely take place in the 130lb division this time as Frampton has stated he feels more comfortable at that weight. The man from Leeds has had a lot of success as a featherweight so it remains to be seen if he will step up a division in the near future.
At the age of 33, Frampton will be hoping to end his career with a flourish. Another world title will help cement the man from Belfast as one of the best Irish boxers of his generation.