Carl Frampton calls for big name Windsor opponent to be secured soon


Carl Frampton [25(14)-1(0)] has called for a ‘big name’ to be confirmed as his August 18th opponent as soon as possible.

The two-weight world champion fulfils a Windsor Park dream later this Summer and brings a massive event to the stadium not long after he beat fight legend Nonito Donaire at the SSE Odyssey Arena.

However, with the current lay of the world title land, it looks increasingly unlikely that the 31-year-old will bring a world title fight to the football ground.

The Frank Warren-promoted featherweight is next in line for WBO titlist Oscar Valdez but the Top Rank fighter is out until at least November, WBC champion Gary Russell Jr hurt his hand during an unanimous points win against Joseph Diaz over the weekend and would struggle to be fit for August, while Leo Santa Cruz faces a Summer WBA defence against Abner Mares meaning the time frame rules out the winner of that rematch.

The Belfast fighter’s best hope was the winner of Lee Selby, who was willing to come to Belfast just 12 weeks later, and Josh Warrington’s IBF world title fight. However, the Leeds fighter upset the odds and after a gruelling contest has ruled himself out for a possible trip to Windsor.

Frampton seems to suggest a noted name is needed to ensure a 20,000 sell out. Crucially, that name needs to be confirmed soon to ensure enough hype can be generated for an event that plays out six weeks after Michael Conlan fights in the city.

“We need to get an opponent soon and it needs to be a big name,” said Frampton.

“I didn’t care who won – Lee Selby or Josh Warrington – but I was hoping for it to be a one-round blow out with no injuries and for him to be ready to go in August,” added WBO interim featherweight champion Frampton, who was part of both the BT Sport and BBC Radio 5 coverage teams for the fight.

“It probably doesn’t look like Josh is going to be ready – he’ll need some time to rest – but I’m fighting in August at Windsor Park.”

Frampton’s coach Jamie Moore who was also working ringside, echoed the likes of Warren and Steve Bunce in saying straight after the clash that Warrington deserved a break and the chance to grow as a champion.

“The scenario that I thought would happen would be if Selby won and then I felt he would have been quite happy to go to Windsor Park because he would already have been an established world champion and it wouldn’t have been a new thing,” explained the former Irish, British, Commonwealth, and European light middleweight champ.

“I think Josh Warrington deserves to be able to enjoy the moment and enjoy his victory and then maybe further down the line.”

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