“Four or five” opponents in the running for Carl Frampton’s Belfast homecoming fight

It could be considered to have been a bad week for Carl Frampton [23(14)-1(0)].

The Belfast featherweight is still without a confirmed opponent for his big homecoming fight this Summer with the WBA, WBC, and IBF champions all seemingly having their next fights stitched up.

It was this week announced that Gary Russell Jr will defend his WBC belt next month against Oscar Escandon next month, while the WBA and IBF ordered champions Leo Santa Cruz and Lee Selby to defend against mandatory challengers Abner Mares and Jonathan Victor Barros respectively.

Frampton however is not worried, and has moved to reassure ‘The Jackal Army’ that they will witness a ‘top fight’ this Summer.

Speaking to UTV about the pending announcement, ‘The Jackal’ explained that “there’s a few things that need to be sorted out behind the scenes, but it’s close, it’s imminent. ”

“I’ve still to get an opponent, but once we do get one it will be a top fight, and it will be a big stadium fight in Windsor which is what I’ve always wanted.”

“There’s still a few opponents in the hat. There’s probably about four or five. We want to get everything right before we announce anything, but there will be something soon.”

Providing the identities of two of these four or five, Frampton refused to rule out a bout with either Welshman Selby or a rematch with Santa Cruz.

The 30 year old revealed that “we’re still talking to both parties – there’s no fight ruled out.”

“I think the governing bodies need to be seen to not be giving into promoter’s demands

“I think there’s 30 days to make Selby and Santa Cruz’s mandatories, so we’ve still got 30 days to try and do a deal behind the scenes.”

Giving some further hints, the Tigers Bay fighter categorically ruled out a Scott Quigg rematch and noted that he may make a sooner-than-expected move to 130lbs if a world title were on the line.

Frampton outlined how “I’m not interested in a Scott Quigg fight. I’ve been there and done that and I beat him in second gear.”

“Unless he strings a few wins together and beats someone of note, then that fight doesn’t interest me and it doesn’t interest the public either.”

“I’m comfortable at featherweight, but if a big fight comes up at super featherweight next I’d be happy to jump up, but it needs to be a big fight.”

“It took a big fight to get me from super bantamweight to featherweight in Leo Santa Cruz and it would need to be something similar to get me to super featherweight.”

Who do you think Carl Frampton’s next opponent will be? Read our run-through of the potential options (article published before this evening’s interview with UTV).

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