Premature Confirmation – but Josh Warrington v Carl Frampton is coming up next


“It’s on!” declared a giddy Frank Warren from centre ring in Belfast last night.

The veteran promoter was referring to a world title fight between IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington and Belfast’s Carl Frampton [26(15)-1(0)].

‘The Jackal’ had just stopped overmatched Aussie Luke Jackson in the ninth round at Windsor Park and everyone in the stadium knew what the next move entailed.

Promotional stablemate Warrington [27(6)-0] has been openly discussed for weeks, with a December date in a neutral British city – initially Manchester but recently there have been increasing mentions of London – being oft-quoted.

With the win over Jackson secured, one of the few final stumbling blocks were cleared and a pseudo-confirmation from Warren followed – with Warrington brought into the Windsor ring and vague posters released on social media.

It should be made clear that there is no agreement in place, with no announced date or venue – although there is the promise that the fight will be aired on BT Sports pay-per-view.

Frampton himself confirmed that he will sit down with his team to discuss and finalise the fight following a week’s holiday with his family.

When he returns, ‘The Jackal’ is keen for an agreement to be quickly reached.

“That fight is the easiest to make,” he said last night. “He [Warrington] is here, so he’s keen, and I’m as keen as mustard, so let’s do it.”

“Hopefully he [Warrington] can make the fight. I’m not for a second saying I’m a world champion because I have this interim [WBO] title. Josh is a world champion and I would love to be a world champion again.”

While he was dominant against Jackson, Frampton expects a much tougher test versus Warrington if and when they meet.

The 31-year-old outlined how “I know it’s going to be a different story, Josh Warrington is a different task altogether. He’s riding on the crest of a wave at the minute, he had the biggest win of his career against Selby.”

“It’s a good fight, it’s not an easy fight, it’s a big fight, it’s a big fight especially in the UK and Ireland.”

Warrington himself is keen on the fight and the chance to prove domestic superiority.

The Leeds champion noted how “for me, I beat Selby and I’m still ranked behind Carl. I’d like to be number one for Christmas. I’ve got a lot of respect for this man but you want to fight the best.”

After his excitable announcement in the ring, Warren would confirm afterwards that the fight is not over the line yet, with dates and venues still to be set.

“We’ve got to work it out,” he admitted, promising that the bout will take place “before the end of the year.”

“Obviously there’s other fights and we’re working out what dates these fights will take place on.”

“It’s a stadium fight but we’re not going to be getting it into a stadium before Christmas,” he added, indicating that the bout would be taking place in one of the larger UK indoor arenas.

“It will be a big, big arena and wherever it is, it will be sold out.”

Excited by the in-house title clash, the Queensberry boss claimed that the match-up is “going to be the best domestic fight for many, many years, and I’m absolute confident about that.”

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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