Óscar Valdez route appeals more to Carl Frampton than Selby v Warrington winner

It was meant to be the winner of Lee Selby and Josh Warrington’s IBF World title fight in the away corner when Carl Frampton realises his Windsor Park dream this Summer.

However, it seems ‘The Jackal’ is leaning toward the WBO route and an eventual fight with Oscar Valdez.

Frampton has recently suggested he will have a number of featherweight World title options if he overcomes Nonito Donaire in Belfast on April 21st – but the introduction of the WBO interim title as a prize for the winner of the eagerly anticipated SSE Odyssey Arena-hosted suggests he is eyeing a clash with recent Scott Quigg defeater Valdez.

The Mexican had his jaw broken by Quigg in that California fight earlier this month and is expected to be out of action until the new year. A win for Frampton over Donaire will put him top of the queue in terms of being a comeback opponent, but it would also mean his Windsor date would need to be a defence of the WBO interim belt to maintain this position.

The Belfast featherweight admits the Selby-Warrington victor in Windsor would make for a big fight but believes it may be better to build toward a Valdez clash which would make bigger noise around the World.

Frampton outlined today how “Oscar Valdez must face the Interim Champion when he is ready and that’s a big incentive for myself and Donaire.”

“The Valdez fight is very appealing to me and obviously the winner of Selby v Warrington is also equally as appealing. I think the Valdez fight would get a lot more attention on both sides of the globe rather than just in the UK.

“The winner of Selby v Warrington would be a big fight in the UK but a fight with Valdez would be a huge fight Worldwide. Obviously he has an injury that he needs to recover from but there’s a lot of options for me now and it’s always good to have options in this game.”

“Having an Interim belt on the line brings something a little more special to the whole event.”

The addition of the WBO interim belt to an already mouthwatering clash prompted most to surmise that the Tiger’s Bay 31-year-old may have to delay his plans to regain a World title

Frank Warren may want to make a big IBF and WBO unification fight further down the line – perhaps the Windsor date will be long-fingered until the Summer of 2019?

However, Frampton himself is adamant – despite the WBA and WBC belts being tied up, the WBO champion out injured, and there being a relatively short turnaround for the Selby-Warrington winner – that he will challenge for one of the four major straps next time out if he overcomes the four-weight World champion next month.

“This is great news and it adds a whole lot more razzmatazz to the event – not that it needed it. I was sure that the winner of this fight was going to go on to fight for a World Title in their next fight and having an interim World Title on the line on April 21st all but confirms that.”

With a month to go, Frampton believes he may have to produce a career-best performance to overcome Filipino legend Donaire.

‘The Jackal’ described how, “with so much riding on this fight, I need to make sure that I’m going to put in the performance of my career, which it might take to win this fight.”

“I love fighting at home, there’s something about fighting in Belfast that brings out the best in me. I love the whole fight week in Belfast and I love the atmosphere in the SSE Arena.”

“I’ll need to be better than I was in my last fight. With the way things are going in training so far it’s going to be a big performance.”


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