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Former World Champ hopes to get in Featherweight World Title mix – Targets Carl Frampton

Former IBF super bantamweight championn Jhonatan Romero [31(17)-1(1)] is keen to get back in the world title mix and Carl Frampton is one of a number of names on his hit-list.

The Colombian won the IBF 122lbs belt back in 2013 with a split-decision win over Alejandro Lopez but lost the title in his first defence to Kiko Martinez – who defended the red strap twice before being beaten himself by Frampton in 2014.

Romero has fought eight times since his loss to Martinez, all at a lower level, and now wants to get back in the mix for titles at featherweight.

Now 31, Romero, who is not ranked by any of the four major bodies, hopes to fight in a world title eliminator soon to set up a shot at one of the champions.

WBO holder Óscar Valdez is his main target, Leo Santa Cruz has the WBA belt, Gary Russell Jr the WBC, while Josh Warrington defends the IBF title versus Frampton in Manchester on December 22nd.

Speaking to World Boxing News, Romero outlined how “with my record of 31-1, I know all fights for me going forward will be with top competition. I would love Oscar Valdez. I have nothing but respect for him as we trained side by side and sparred many rounds. That would be a fight I want and I believe it’s a fan friendly fight between two clean, tough fighters.”

Back when he was world champion, a fight between Romero and Frampton was mooted, with both being on record regarding a potential clash in Belfast.

‘Momo’ had told the Belfast Newsletter that “[Frampton] does not give me any kind of fear and if they offer me good money, I would be willing to go to defeat him in his home country, as I have done with all my opponents.”

Romero has not forgotten Frampton over the last five years and said to WBN that “I would also love Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton or Scott Quigg etc. We are part of an incredible division with nothing but tough opponents.”

The South American is keen to avenge his sole career loss – that sixth round stoppage defeat to Martinez in Atlantic City.

The evergreen Spaniard became a three-time European champion last month with a rematch win over Marc Vidal and himself will be looking for major fights in the new year.

“Of course, I would love to avenge that loss,” said Romero.

“That fight taught me so much and this is why I believe when I get back to the top I will know what to do and maintain a title.”

Read Jhonatan Romero’s full interview with WBN here


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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