May Date- Top Rank book SSE Arena – Herring v Frampton world title fight set for Belfast

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The proposed WBO super featherweight world title fight between Carl Frampton [27(15-2(0)] and Jamel Herring [21(10)-2(1)] looks increasingly likely not just to take place, but to take place in Belfast. understands that American based promotional outfit Top Rank have booked the SSE Arena for a Saturday night in May, which suggest they have a world title fight between ‘The Jackal’ and ‘Semper Fi’ lined up for early next Summer.

Top Rank could be just hedging their bets in case a deal can be made, but it seems more likely they are confident the fight will happen.

It fits all the lines recently coming out of both camps. Frampton is certainly keen on the fight, as it gives him a chance to become Ireland’s first three weight world champion, but to his credit has stated that as the former Marine is reigning champion he would be willing to travel.

Herring, who admits he is a ‘Jackal’ fan, claims Frampton is the only one willing to step up to the plate and as a result he wishes to defend against the Belfast fighter. With regard to venue he has said he is keen to cross the Atlantic and sample the Irish atmosphere.

Bob Arum, promoter of both is also keen to make the fight. He suggests the financial incentive for the 34-year-old champ to go to Belfast would be significant and stated he felt obliged to bring the fight to Frampton’s home town.

Windsor was initially mentioned as an ideal venue for 32-year-old former two-weight world champion, Frampton, to attempt to make history.

However, Arum last week seemed adamant that if Belfast was the chosen venue then the fight would be indoors. The veteran promoter, who also guides the career of Michael Conlan, had weather worries with regards to going outdoors.

All of which plays into the SSE Arena narrative. According to the SSE Arena – previously the Odyssey and sometimes known as ‘The Jackal’s Lair’ – website, only Saturday May 23 is booked. An 80/90s disco will take centre stage that night, leaving three Saturdays free for the world title fight.

Considering April was first mooted early May looks likely, although late May would give Frampton more time to rest his hand before returning to camp.

If now as expected the fight does come to Belfast and the SSE Arena it will provide a host of MTK fighters the chance to appear on a massive bill broadcast around the world.


Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: