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Carl Frampton not willing to wait on Windsor Park

Back in January of 2017, in the build-up to his rematch with Leo Santa Cruz in Las Vegas, Carl Frampton [25(14)-1(0)] declared that he wanted “big fights only” from there on in.

Of course, with boxing especially, things change. Out went the McGuigans and in came Frank Warren at the tail-end of last Summer and now Frampton approaches a dream fight date at Windsor Park.

‘The Jackal’ faces Australian Luke Jackson [16(7)-0] on August 18th, defending the WBO interim featherweight title at the football ground.

Going back to his 2017 declaration, it is a big fight in terms of scale – but, in terms of significance and opposition, it does not fit the criteria.

However, rather than lament this fact, the mature Frampton takes a reasoned and considered view.

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” as the old saying goes.

A fight at Windsor Park against a little-known opponent is better than waiting another year in the hope of securing a major, major fight at the stadium.

“You never know what happens in this game,” noted Frampton. “It could be the one and only time I get to fight at Windsor Park.

“There was talk of waiting, but I wanted to do it because opportunities like this don’t come around too often. It is a dream of mine, I wanted to do it and that is the be all and end all.”

“It is going to be a special occasion for myself and my family. For the people who are going to come and watch it there is going to be a top quality undercard as well and I think it will be a night to remember for Belfast.”

“This is a dream for me and it is something I have talked about for a long time.

Acknowledging the difficulty in finding a world class, recognisable opponent, Frampton described how ““I imagine some people will have been expecting a different opponent, but the fact I am not fighting a world champion is the fault of nobody.”

“Josh Warrington beating Lee Selby sort of threw a spanner in the works for us because I think Selby would’ve come to Belfast.”

“Oscar Valdez is out injured, Gary Russell has just fought and Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares also just fought. That’s it really; the top guys just aren’t available. It is good for me to get a defence in here.”

Frampton, who is in line to challenge IBF champ Warrington in Manchester in December should he win v Jackson, feels the Tasmanian is a worthy foe.

The Belfast 31-year-old said that “I think a lot of people will expect to just to beat him up and blow him away but he is ranked No.4 by the WBO, he is an Olympian with a good pedigree and is undefeated.”

“So I will need to be ready and in the shape of my life. It is a big occasion with being at Windsor Park and that is the real thing here. I think that people who are coming to watch me perform at Windsor Park deserve for me to be in the shape of my life and put on a good show.”

“That is what I intend to do and then move on and hopefully fight for a world title before the end of the year.


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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