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Arum assures – Top Rank boss confirms Frampton & Conlan still on course for world title shots

Bob Arum assures both Carl Frampton and Michael Conlan will challenge for world titles in the near future.

It’s been well publicized that ‘The Jackal’ and super featherweight world title holder Jamel Herring were meant to fight on June 13. It was also rumoured Michael Conlan was set to challenge for a world title at the Feile in the first week of August.

The current pandemic has scuppered plans with regard to both fights and a Belfast boxing summer bookended by two massive even historic fight nights is no more.

However, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum assures both fighters will still get the chance to fight for a world title even if there is nothing concrete in terms of date and venue.

“We’re going to do these fights. The question is on which side of the Atlantic they take place,” said Arum.

“We’ve been talking to the participants of those fights and we want to do them – the question is where can we do them and how are we going to do them?

“We would like, if we can, to do them in Belfast, but with this virus we don’t know when we would be able to do that with spectators.

“It’s not ideal but the choice at the moment comes down to fighting without spectators or not fighting at all.”

Top Rank are looking to put on fights behind closed doors, but reading between the lines they want to wait until crowds can attend fight nights again before doing Herring versus Frampton or Conlan for a world title.

Herring has already suggested he may use the behind closed doors cards for a warm up fight and Arum suggests, travel allowing, both Belfast fighters could have warm up bouts on one of the those unique shows.

“It is up to the individual fighters whether they want a warm-up fight to get themselves ready for a title fight or not. If that were the case it may be possible to have title fights with spectators down the line,” the Hall of Fame fighter continues.

“Who knows, maybe we could do a card in Las Vegas with Herring fighting someone and Frampton fighting someone else – that would build up a Herring-Frampton fight even more. That’s a possibility.

“If Conlan wants another preparatory fight like the one he was due to have on 17 March and then go into a world title fight that by all means may be a prudent way to do it and I would support that and get it done.”

The one problem with that plan is the US still have a travel ban.

“But we have a travel ban in place in the US and we don’t know how long that will last. The question is can we get guys like Frampton and Conlan over to the US, put them in quarantine, have them train in the gym for two or three weeks under sanitised conditions and then have them fight without spectators in June or July?

“Frank Warren is exploring the possibility of having these fights in the UK, whether in Belfast or London, again with similar precautions. It’s just a case of wherever it works.

“Given they have been unable to train with their trainers it would be up to each boxer to tell us how long they need in a training camp before they can participate in a fight.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com