Carl Frampton confirms Óscar Valdez World Title fight would keep him from retiring


Carl Frampton has confirmed that a clash with WBO featherweight champion Óscar Valdez is one which would make him hold off on retiring.

The Belfast fighter’s future looked to be up in the air following his unsuccessful challenge of IBF beltholder Josh Warrington last month.

Frampton [26(15)-2(0)] admits that he had, internally, retired in the moments after the bout in Manchester but quickly reconsidered as he feels the defeat was more due to an ‘off night’ rather than being indicative of a decline.

‘The Jackal’ stated that a rematch with Warrington or a rubber match with WBA champ Leo Santa Cruz were the two fights that would prevent him from retiring.

However, soon after, Frampton would be name-dropped by Top Rank boss Bob Arum as a potential foe for his charge, Valdez [25(19)-0].

The Mexican-American returns from a broken jaw next month versus Italian Carmine Tomassone and, as mandatory obligations have ruled Warrington out, Arum wants Frampton afterwards.

Meanwhile, the Irish fighter would have crucial career talks with promoter Warren and he has since said that Valdez is a fight that appeals to him.

While it is hardly earth-shattering news, it is confirmation from Frampton who outlined in his weekly column for the Sunday Life that “I spoke on Thursday to my promoter Frank Warren for the first time – and the conversation went well and he has told me that he expects there to be very good options on the table.”

“Frank and MTK expect there to be interest from the WBO champion Oscar Valdez as well as from my old rival Leo Santa Cruz and those are the fights that appeal to me.”

“Depending on what the options are, I would even consider a 10-rounder before another world title shot.”

“I do believe that given the right opportunity, with the right terms, it will take it because I genuinely feel I have what it takes to win – whether that’s against Santa Cruz or Valdez.”

Not mentioned in Frampton’s column as a potential opponent is promotional stablemate Warrington.

The Leeds fighter distanced himself from a potential rematch recently while common promoter Warren, despite spending much of the build-up taking of repeats and trilogies as well as labelling their meeting as the greatest fight he has ever seen in Britain, no longer seems keen on going again

Frampton will not be returning to the ring until the summer due to his May court case with Cyclone Promotions.

With that in mind, it could indeed be straight into a title fight rather than a 10-rounder as that would seem to line up with double Olympian Valdez’s schedule.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie