Carl Frampton reveals three-fight unification plan

Carl Frampton has a three-fight plan.

This day next week the Belfast featherweight will headline a massive card at his beloved Windsor Park and he hopes that this will catapult him towards his eventual goal of becoming a unified world champion at a second weight class.

Frampton faces Luke Jackson at Windsor next week in a bout he is widely expected to win with minimal fuss. This would see him defend his WBO interim belt and ‘The Jackal’ intends to hold a proper world title by the end of the year.

If all of this is achieved, Frampton believes then he will be in a position to finally have a rubber match and unification with rival Leo Santa Cruz.

In terms of who he will face after Jackson, it looks almost certain that it will be his Queensberry promotional stablemate and IBF champion Josh Warrington.

The Tiger’s Bay 31-year-old isn’t pushed, however, and admits he would be equally keen to face WBO champion Óscar Valdez. The Mexican is out injured currently but hopes to return by the end of the year and, in theory, must face Frampton first.

He outlined how “the plan after Jackson is to fight either Oscar Valdez or Josh Warrington. Warrington would make more sense because we’re both promoted by Frank Warren.”

“The Warrington fight would also be more appealing to British sports fans but it doesn’t matter who I fight. You could flip a coin to see if it’s Valdez or Warrington.”

While winning a fourth world title appeals, Frampton’s main goal remains a decisive rubber match with WBA champ Leo Santa Cruz.

The pair traded wins before a promised third fight fell by the wayside, with champion Santa Cruz going back on his word and refusing to defend the title, which he had reclaimed from Frampton, in the second of two fights in America, in Belfast.

Frampton feels, if he can take Warrington or Valdez’s belt, he will become a more attractive option for Santa Cruz – who in recent times has been flirting with the possibility of a unification with WBC titlist Gary Russell Jr.

Indeed, there is a scenario where a Frampton v Santa Cruz fight next year could be for all four belts and the undisputed tag – should Valdez, as has been rumoured, move up in weight and therefore upgrade Frampton to WBO champ.

“If I beat Jackson, then I beat Warrington or Valdez, then I will have a title and having a title puts me in a much stronger position – ready to tackle Leo Santa Cruz.”

“That might make Santa Cruz want to come to the table, negotiate and talk about that fight again. The Santa Cruz fight is the one that appeals to me more than any other.”


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: