Carl Frampton [23(14)-1(0)] this afternoon made a point to apologise to the fans that won’t be able to attend his eagerly anticipated homecoming.
After two and a half years of making himself a World-known name on the road, ‘The Jackal’ planed a massive homecoming party and through a Windsor Park Summer bout.
It would have made more business sense for the former two-weight World champion to trade leather Stateside, but he was adamant he wanted to give back to the fans.
Frampton was determined to pay back the supporters who had traveled and who ensured his unification bout against Scott Quigg in Manchester and his two World title fights against Leo Santa Cruz in New York and Las Vegas were so special by bringing one of the biggest fight nights back to Belfast.
However, a host of big names were reluctant to come to the Titanic City, including Santa Cruz, who had promised otherwise, and Cyclone Promotions had to move the clash to the SSE Odyssey Arena.
While Mexican Andres Gutierrez [35(25)-1(0)-1], who he fights in a WBC featherweight title eliminator, is a hungry and possibly more dangerous foe than some high profile names on the list, logistical issues have prevented the fight from taking place at Windsor.
As a result ‘The Jackal Army’ will return to the Odyssey which has always generated a unique atmosphere for Frampton fight nights, but the boxer himself has said sorry to those who will miss out.
Taking the mic at the end of the press conference to announce the Gutierrez fight this afternoon at the Europa Hotel, Frampton said “I understand there are going to be a lot of people who miss out on tickets because this is at the Odyssey and not Windsor or an outdoor venue,” Frampton said.
“I’m extremely disappointed for the people. I wanted this to be in a big arena but it just wasn’t to be this time.
“I desperately want to fight at Windsor Park at some time in the future. That’s what I want to do and I think that’s what the team are working closely on, for people who do miss out on tickets. to maybe try and erect a big screen somewhere in the city centre for fans to watch.”
“I know people have travelled to New York and Las Vegas and I have a loyal fanbase here – it’s just unfortunate that some people are going to miss out on tickets but there’s nothing we can do about it this time, and I apologise.”
LISTEN: Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill speak to Luke Keeler and Paddy Barnes on Episode 6 of The Irish Boxing Show: