Carl Frampton is bidding to become the first Irish boxer to win three world titles across three separate weight divisions. His stoppage victory against Darren Traynor in the summer has set him up for a WBO super-featherweight title fight against Jamel Herring.
Herring, a former US Marine, will be a stiff test of Brampton’s credentials given his increased height and subsequent reach in the ring. The bout, which has been pencilled in for February 20, is also due to be staged in London, which could act as a demotivating factor for Frampton, who has been so used to the vociferous backing of Belfast locals in past fights.
Yet Frampton has spoken confidently in recent days that he “knows” he has “the beating of [Herring]”. He said that his confidence is underpinned by comments from sparring partners such as Anto Cacace, who believe Frampton is boxing as well as he’s done for some time.
Frampton was quick to refute claims that Herring will be “mentally strong” given his past in the Marines, adding that “no matter what” Herring does in the ring he will have “an answer” to it. Frampton admits he is “the shorter man” in this match-up, but he is confident in his “distance control”, punch speed and fleet-of-foot.
There are striking similarities with Frampton’s upcoming bout and British heavyweight Dillian Whyte’s rematch fight with Alexander Povetkin. Both fighters have lost twice in their professional careers and have 30 and 29 victories apiece. Defeat for either fighter could well result in them calling it a day and hanging up the gloves for good, given they are aged 33 and 32 respectively. Whyte was stunned by a Povetkin uppercut in their first meeting but remains the bookies’ favourite to win the rematch. LV Bet, which is dishing out enhanced odds to new customers at present, has Whyte priced as short as 1.42 to win and Frampton’s odds are also odds-on at 1.8 to defeat Herring.
Frampton unsure about his future post-Herring
Back-to-back title fight losses against Leo Santa Cruz and Josh Warrington affected Frampton badly for a time. But he insists that he is “switched on” again and ready to “hit the ground running” once a date to face Herring is full confirmed. Defeat against Herring would surely be the final chapter in Frampton’s career, but victory could lead to one last big-money fight, which Frampton would relish given that he is still “loving” boxing. Despite not wanting to box “when [he’s] 40”, Frampton’s fire in the belly is still burning bright.