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Opponents confirmed for Mick Conlan and Carl Frampton

Carl Frampton [27(15)-2(0)] and Mick Conlan [12(7)-0] will return to the ring next month.

Frampton is set to go in with  Vahram Vardanyan [21(14)1-1] while Conlan will face Sofiane Takoucht [35(13)-4(1)-1].

There had been some confusion in the build-up, with Conlan and Frampton stating that the bout would be in London while Top Rank boss Bob Arum repeatedly mentioned Belfast as the venue for the behind-closed-doors clashes.

It was today confirmed clashes will take place in the BT Sports Studio’s and will be broadcast on BT and ESPN.

Returning after his comeback win over Tyler McCreary last November, a win for the history-chasing Frampton should lead to, at last, his shot at the WBO super featherweight title. That clash with champion and stablemate Jamel Herring has been pinned for November by Top Rank.

For Conlan victory over Takoucht should lead him toward a world title shot of his own. 

A round of WBO ranking musical chairs has left Conlan sitting in a good position to pick up a prize.

Undefeated Americans Stephen Fulton and Angelo Leo look odds on to challenge for the WBO super bantamweight title with former featherweight hopeful Conlan in prime position to fight the winner.

The French fighter had been pinned as a replacement opponent for Vladimir Nikitin when the Russian pulled out of his clash with Conlan at Féile an Phobail last August.

In the end, Diego Albero Ruiz stepped in and the Frenchman went on to challenge IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington in October, being stopped inside two rounds in Leeds.

For Conlan, according to brother and manager Jamie, this will be the first of two fights that will lead him to a world title shot at Madison Square Garden next St Patrick’s Day.

Takoucht will be his first outing since gaining vengeance over Nikitin in December as his annual Paddy’s Day jaunt at The Garden was cancelled due to the COVID crisis.

Frampton faces the Armenian know as ‘King Vahram’. Vardanyan’s record makes for good reading, with only two blemishes in the form of a defeat and draw, but the 31-year-old has only fought outside of Latvia twice and has yet to fight anyone of note. 




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