CONFIRMED: Carl Frampton to fight IBF champion Josh Warrington


At last, it is confirmed.

Ireland’s Carl Frampton [26(15)-1(0)] will take on IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington [27(6)-0] at the Manchester Arena on Saturday December 22nd, live on BT Sport Box Office.

The match-up has been mooted since the Summer and common promoter Frank Warren claimed ‘it is on’ last month before revealing the heavily reported date and venue yesterday.

Now, this morning, the bout has been officially confirmed, with Frank Warren sending out a press release for the pre-Christmas cracker.

While the intention is for 27-year-old Warrington to defend the IBF belt, which he won versus Lee Selby back in May at Elland Road, for the first time, Queensberry have noted that the fight is still subject to sanctioning from the governing body.

Frampton, who previously held the IBF super bantameight belt, is not in the organisation’s Top 15 as he holds the WBO interim title. This, assumedly, will need to be vacated and, seeing as Selby v Warrington was a mandatory defence, it would look to be little problem for the Belfast boxer to enter the rankings and be an allowable voluntary defence for ‘The Leeds Warrior’.

The Manchester Arena ensures something of a neutral venue for the to fighters who both brought in more than 20,000 to stadiums in their home cities last time out.

While it’s a short trip across The Pennines for Warrington fans, Frampton’s Belfast following will have happy memories of their last trip to Manchester back in 2016 when their man defeated Scott Quigg in an IBF-WBA 122lbs unification on Sky Box Office.

31-year-old Frampton, who will be looking to claim his fourth world title belt, last fought at Windsor Park in August where he dominated Aussie Luke Jackson.

Warrington, who derailed plans of a Selby v Frampton clash at Windsor with his upset world title win, joined ‘The Jackal’ in the ring afterwards.

Frampton, who also defeated Nonito Donaire back in April, will be fighting more than twice in a calendar year for the first time since 2012 as he looks to finish his career with a flourish under trainer Jamie Moore.

A return to World champion status for Frampton would pave the way for a return to America in 2019 in a position of bargaining power as he chases big fights with the likes of WBO champ Oscar Valdez and, mostly, a trilogy fight with WBA titleholder Leo Santa Cruz.

Ticke details for the fight will be announced soon.

dpg

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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