Carl Frampton’s next opponent confirms himself

It appears that Carl Frampton [27(15)-2(0)] will face Scotland’s Darren Traynor this weekend.

The Belfast super featherweight was due to face Latvia-based Romanian Vahram Vardanyan [21(14)-1(0)-1] over ten rounds at the BT Sport studios in London this Saturday [August 15th].

It emerged, however, last week that Vardanyan had fallen afoul of visa issues and would not make it to England for the fight night.

Aberdeen’s Traynor [16(7)-3(2)] was put forth by his team and it appears that the fight is confirmed with trainer Matty McAllister posting as much on social media this morning.

The coach shared an image of him and Traynor in transit, saying “en-route to London with Darren for his fight against two-weight world champion Carl Frampton. You can watch the fight Saturday night live on BT Sport and ESPN.”

Over the past few days there has been much talk of a replacement opponent for Frampton – who co-headlines Saturday’s Queensberry/Top Rank card with Mick Conlan.

‘The Jackal’ explained that a stand-by opponent had been on notice the past few weeks while also suggesting that his management were on the look-out for a new foe.

It is currently unclear whether 33-year-old Traynor is the stand-by opponent previously mentioned.

Irish fans will remember Traynor from his dramatic fight with James Tennyson back in 2017 where he hurt the new British lightweight champion but was ultimately stopped heavily in the third round.

‘Trayn-Wreck’s’ other two defeats came in a challenge of British featherweight champion Ryan Walsh and versus former European champ Juli Giner.

A three-weight Scottish champ and formerly a solid amateur, Traynor ended an extended break from the ring in February and has been ticking over throughout lockdown.

While Traynor, obviously, is levels below Frampton, he is most likely a stronger opponent than Vardanyan – or, at least, on a par – and brings a natural size advantage to the table.

33-year-old Frampton is building towards a challenge of WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring later this year – where he will hope to become Ireland’s first three-weight champion.

The pair had been due to meet in June before COVID intervened and Frampton now needs to negotiate his Traynor keep-busy.

Stablemate Herring is set to defend his brown belt versus Jonathan Oquendo but has seen this bout twice postponed due to his own positive COVID diagnosis.

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