When ‘The Jackal’ initially signed with Frank Warren it seemed almost certain he would fight the victor of that much publicised BT Sport-broadcast bout on May 19th.
Indeed, whoever emerged with the belt seemed the perfect opponent for Frampton’s Windsor Park dream night on August 18th.
However, in recent months, a number of other options were put forward and the popular Belfast fighter seemed to going the WBO route.
A WBO ‘interim’ title win over future Hall of Fame puncher Nonito Donaire made the 31-year-old mandatory for WBO custodian Oscar Valdez but a broken jaw suffered in his fight with former Frampton foe Scott Quigg means the Mexican won’t be available to trade leather until late this year at the earliest.
It was then suggested the Top Rank fighter may vacate and Frampton may fight another ranked opponent for the title but Michael Conlan’s boss Bob Arum dismissed this suggestion.
With the Leo Santa Cruz rematch also a no go as he rematches Abner Mares and WBC belt holder Gary Russell Jr also committed to a date with JoJo Diaz that leaves the IBF title as the only strap potentially available for the massive stadium fight.
With 12 weeks between Selby versus Warrington and Frampton’s Windsor date, it’s a quick turnaround but Frampton is confident the domestic world title fight can be made.
The two-weight World champion told IFL TV that “I am disappointed [Valdez isn’t available] but, look, he has a genuine injury, he has a broken jaw.”
“It’s going to take a while to recover from that and he’d need to have plenty of time before you start sparring and everything else. I am not for a second thinking he is dodging a bullet, he is injured.”
“I am disappointed for me but we will look at the winner of Selby-Warrington,” Frampton added, confirming that it is his preferred option over a WBO interim title defence.
“It probably is now because Valdez is out, Santa Cruz is tied up with Abner Mares, Gary Russell is tied up with JoJo Diaz, so it rules these guys out for August. If the winner of Selby Warrington comes through unscathed I am hoping they are willing to fight me.”
The unscathed part is key considering the short lead in time. Selby and Warrington trade leather on May 19th leaving just three months between world title fights for the winner if he agrees to fight Frampton.
There is also suggestions that, if Warrington wins – which is Frank Warren’s desired outcome – the promoter doesn’t believe Windsor is big enough. With the former Matchroom fighter’s pull in Leeds – his world title shot plays out at Elland Road – a stadium in England in 2019 is said to be more appealing to the English promoter.
Regardless Frampton claims he has options moving forward and feels he will have his pick of featherweight fights once everyone is free.
“It should be any easy one to make but you never know what happens in boxing,” noted the Tigers Bay favourite.
“There is options I am interim champion, Valdez has to fight me when he is ready but I have loads of options. I feel like I am the biggest draw in the featherweight division still and people want to fight me because they can earn a lot of dough.”
Watch Frampton’s interview with IFL TV in full below: