Carl Frampton considering a move DOWN in weight


Dropping back down to super bantamweight is an option being explored by Carl Frampton and his team.

The Belfast fighter looked like he may retire after initially suggesting he would hang up the gloves after defeat to IBF featherweight champ Josh Warrington.

However, in recent interviews, ‘The Jackal’ has indicated that he is set to continue one of the most successful ever Irish boxing careers.

Frampton [26(15)-2(0)] has had positive meetings with promoter Frank Warren, but has revealed he only wants big fights.

The Tiger’s Bay man believes he still has the ability to be a world champion at 126lbs and is willing to take a 10-round comeback fight to build towards a shot at either WBO champ Oscar Valdez, the likeliest scenario, or a rubber match with WBA champ Leo Santa Cruz – as a Warrington rematch looks off the table.

However, it seems other names may now be added to the list as the former two-weight world champion revealed he would consider a return to super bantamweight, a weight at which he previously held the IBF and WBA world titles.

Prior to his December defeat to Warrington, Frampton had been talking about moving to super feather to become a three-weight champ, but has now revealed the weight below is also an option.

“Look at the size difference between me and Warrington on the night,” Frampton said in an interview with the BBC.

“Warrington was a much bigger man than me so moving up a weight… I believed I could have beaten Warrington and then maybe moved up but I was outdone by a bigger man on the night. So it would need to be the right champion if I was going to move up and not one of the bigger guys.”

Frampton revealed that “potentially moving down [in weight] is another option that we’ve spoken about.

“Against Donaire, I made featherweight pretty comfortably and I remember saying before the Jackson fight that if something came up at super-bantamweight I’d be willing to try it out so that’s an option.”

Frampton weighing in for his IBF super bantamweight World Title fight versus Scott Quigg
Frampton weighing in for his IBF super bantamweight World Title fight versus Kiko Martinez

Frampton moved up to featherweight from super bantamweight following his unification win over Scott Quigg in 2016, noting that he had outgrown the weight.

The Ulsterman had almost missed weight for his defence versus the late Alejandro Gonzalez Jr the year previous and world require an extreme camp to make 122lbs for the Quigg clash.

However, upon moving from coach Shane McGuigan to Jamie Moore and altering his training patterns, Frampton feels his body composition has changed.

Working with the the Manchester Institute of Health and Performance, the soon-to-be-32-year-old argues that he is in the best shape of his life and was even suggesting an ability to make super bantam ahead of his comeback fight versus Horacio Garcia.

The current champions in the super bantamweight division are Rey Vargas with the WBC, Emmanuel Navarrete with the WBO, Danny Roman with the WBA, and Frampton’s former Irish amateur team-mate and opponent TJ Doheny with the IBF.

Doheny and Roman look set to unify in April and, in any case, their affiliation to Eddie Hearn would make a fight with the Warren-backed Frampton difficult.

It would by Navarrete that would seem the likeliest. The Mexican dethroned Frampton’s former sparring partner Isaac Dogboe at the end of last year on a Top Rank card and Warren is well-known for his fondness of WBO belts.

Then there is Frampton’s former training partner Ryan Burnett, former holder of WBA and IBF belts at bantamweight, who may be moving up to 122lbs in the future – although he is also with Matchroom

While all this is a possibility, a fight in the summer with Valdez remains, in many eyes, the front-runner, with Top Rank keen on the fight and schedules seemingly alligning.

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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 sport for a living for 19 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