Northern Irish boxer Carl Frampton is the pride of his native Tiger Bay in Belfast, but the odds are against him despite home advantage in his next fight for the WBO super featherweight championship.
The Jackal has a professional record of 27 wins (15 KOs) and two defeats from 29 career fights in the paid ranks. Only Mexico’s Leo Santa Cruz and British boxer Josh Warrington have beaten Frampton with both of those bouts going the distance and being decided by the judges’ scorecards.
A WBO title shot against American contemporary Jamel Herring is to be confirmed for this summer and to take place on the island of Ireland. Frampton’s southpaw opponent has a very similar record with 23 victories (1o via knockout) and two defeats from 25 pro fights.
New York state native Herring is a former sergeant in the US marines who went on two tours of duty in Iraq. He has an amateur background and competed at the London Olympics of 2012 in the light welterweight division while still on active service after winning the US trials.
This is to be the first bout in the paid ranks outside of America for Herring, but the transatlantic trip doesn’t impact his status as odds-on favourite to win. Frampton, not for the first time in his career, finds himself an underdog at evens in the latest boxing betting on this fight. He has lost two of his last six fights but is a former two-weight world champion.
This is set to be Herring’s second defence of the WBO super featherweight title after he dethroned Japan’s Masayuki Ito to win the belt via unanimous decision in May 2019. His two pro defeats to date came courtesy of Russian boxer Denis Shafikov via a late tenth round TKO in 2016 and fellow American fighter Ladarius Miller the following year.
Frampton is a former European and Commonwealth super bantamweight champion. He went on to capture the IBF super bantamweight from old rival Kiko Martinez in 2014.
A unification bout with fellow British Isles boxer Scott Quigg in 2016, that split the judges and added the WBA super bantamweight belt to Frampton’s honours, was his finest hour. He went to trade losses and the WBA super featherweight title in two encounters with Santa Cruz, but regained the winning thread in 2017.
Frampton out-pointed Nonito Donaire from the Philippines for the vacant WBO interim featherweight title and successfully defended it by stopping Australian boxer Luke Jackson in the ninth round. That set up an IBF featherweight title shot which he lost to Warrington.
However, he does come into this fight with Herring off the back of a win after a unanimous decision victory over fellow American fighter Tyler McCreary in Las Vegas. With a knowledgeable and passionate British and Irish crowd behind him on his side of the Atlantic, however, Frampton isn’t a big underdog and so it wouldn’t be a massive shock to see him belie those odds and take the title from Herring.