Frank Warren eyes WBO upgrade for Carl Frampton | Selby v Warrington winner unlikely

Carl Frampton‘s promoter, Frank Warren, is ready to work his magic with the World Boxing Organisation (WBO).

‘The Jackal’ fights for the newly-created WBO interim featherweight title next month at the SSE Odyssey Arena versus four-weight champion Nonito Donaire [38(24)-4(1)].

The belt has been brought into existence following a broken jaw suffered by champion Óscar Valdez earlier this month during his unanimous decision win over former Frampton foe Scott Quigg.

Before this injury, Warren had hoped to make Frampton-Donaire a WBO final eliminator. Now the #3 and #8 will box for the secondary belt on Saturday April 21st – which Frampton himself has described as, in essence, a final eliminator.

Should Frampton [24(14)-1(0)] win, unless something was agreed between the two parties, Valdez would have to defend his title against the Belfast man when he returns from injury – which may not be until 2019, meaning Frampton would have to defend the interim trinket in the interim.

Warren, who seems to have a strong working relationship with and influence over the body, has warned that he will be pressing for this fight immediately and, should Valdez not comply, Frampton would be upgraded from interim to full champion.

The veteran English promoter told IFL TV that “hopefully he [Frampton] will come through [the Donaire fight] and he’ll be the interim champion whilst Valdez recuperates from his broken jaw, he’s going to be out for a while.”

“Interim title, when the champion is injured and not able to defend his title, I think is very justifiable because otherwise the division stagnates whilst you’re waiting for the champion to recover – and he may not be ready to fight within a specific timeframe so therefore all the guys underneath him don’t get a chance.”

“For Carl, it’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m quite sure, if he wins, that he’ll be mandated to fight Valdez when he’s fit.”

“Or, if Valdez doesn’t recover, then he’ll be installed as the champion. Maybe [Valdez will vacate], who knows? Whatever happens, Carl’s in a good position.”

Warren then gave his clearest indication yet that a fight for Frampton at Windsor Park in August with the winner of Lee Selby’s IBF title defence against Josh Warrington won’t be happening.

The turnaround for the winner of this fight from May 19th to a date in August had raised questions, and Warren added further doubt by describing how, “in an ideal world”, Frampton would go on to claim the full WBO title and then unify with the winner of Selby-Warrington at a later date.

With Mexican Valdez having his jaw wired shut, there looks to be no chance that he will provide the opposition for the long-promised Windsor Park date – which Warren has previously claimed was already booked.

This would leave Frampton, again if he overcomes the substantial obstacle of Donaire, with a defence of the WBO Interim belt as the fight which lines up with his Windsor plans

Watch Frank Warren’s interview with IFL TV in full below:


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: