However, despite initial soundings that that fight will be versus the winner of Lee Selby‘s IBF featherweight title defence against Josh Warrington in May, ‘The Jackal’ suggests that any one of six potential belt holders could be next.
The 126lbs division is one of the more exciting weights at present and is one which could have a shift in its landscape this Spring.
Selby and Warrington do battle for the IBF belt, while it’s possible Scott Quigg could become WBO champion as he challenges Oscar Valdez, then there is a soon-to-be-announcedWBA title fight for former Frampton foe and holder Leo Santa Cruz who will rematch Abner Mares.*
The Belfast fighter can see a scenario where he can choose between the winner of any of those fights – bar one notable exception – to help him fill Windsor Park late in the Summer.
The MTK and Frank Warren fighter might not hold a title, but believes he is one of the biggest names in the division, indeed the fact a name like Donaire is coming to the famous fight city this Spring confirms as much.
As a result, Frampton is confident that any of the three resultant champions could be tempted to come to Belfast for a massive fight later in the year.
An in-house Warren fight with Selby or Warrington still looks the most likely.
The prospect of chasing old foe Quigg doesn’t appeal too much to the proud two-weight World champ, but it could be an option if the Bury man beats Valdez – who has also called for a fight with the Ulsterman
However, Santa Cruz retains against fellow Mexican-American Mares, Frampton doesn’t see him coming to town.
Frampton believes a win over the Filipino four-weight world title on what promises to be a sensational SSE Odyssey Arena fight night this April will mean the featherweight World title world is his oyster.
“They are talking about Selby-Warrington, but there are a lot of options,” outlined the 30-year-old Tigers Bay favourite.
“Obviously we have the winner of Selby-Warrington, but you also have the winner of Santa Cruz-Mares if that finally gets made, then you have Valdez-Quigg and Frank is trying to make this a final eliminator for the winner for the WBO.”
“It’s strange me trying to fight Quigg for a World title! – but I think Valdez might win that fight – and fair play to Quigg for taking that fight.”
“But there are options and no doubt in my mind whoever wins this fight will fight for a World title,” Frampton added before explaining his reasoning and dismissing the idea of Frampton-Santa Cruz III taking place in his hometown.
“No disrespect I think in the featherweight division I am the biggest draw in it. I think whoever it is, be they champion or not, will be coming here, well apart from Leo Santa Cruz. If I am ever going to fight him again I will have to go Stateside.”
It’s a fair comment from the Jamie Moore-trained featherweight and it’s backed up by the fact a former pound-for-pound star and World renowned name will come and fight in Belfast this year.
However, while Frampton does take pride in the fact he will take on possibly the biggest name to ever come to the city, he humbly doesn’t take credit.
The Belfast man claims his team did the hard work and overlooks the fact that his pulling power makes it financially possible for the likes of MTK and Frank Warren to put an offer in place to lure over the likes of ‘The Filipino Flash’.
“I am proud to be bringing him to Belfast. I think teams MTK, Frank and Ringstar… a lot of credit has to go them too. I think I am one of the biggest names in the division even though I don’t have a World title, but I can’t take credit for bringing here.”
“Obviously this is my city and I love it, but the people behind the scenes made it possible. It’s a business at the end of the day and I don’t know what he is getting paid but I am sure it’s hefty enough.”
*WBC champion Gary Russell Jr looks set to have a voluntary defence announced this week and, after this, will be tied up with mandatory JoJo Diaz.