When Carl Frampton suffered the second defeat of his career last December at the hands of Josh Warrington, the immediate reaction from the Belfast native hinted towards calling and end to his time in the ring.
The Northern Irishman came up short in his bid to become a world champion once again, as he endured a unanimous decision defeat to Warrington at the Manchester Arena in front of a rapturous crowd packed out with both travelling Irish and Leeds supporters.
Frampton had dismissed the Leeds favourite’s power in the build-up to their long-awaited clash, with a record of just six knockout victories from 28 wins making for good proof to support that point, but he was troubled very early on in proceedings.
In fact, ‘the Jackal’ was rocked badly in the opening rounds and looked like being stopped at worrying points as Warrington imposed his typically aggressive, come-forward style to great effect on UK soil.
Frampton did survive though, biting down on his gumshield and battling back to earn some success at moments throughout a highly entertaining bout. But it wasn’t enough as the underdog and reignging and defending IBF featherweight title holder managed to upset the odds again to retain his crown.
Warrington will enter the ring as the odds-on 1/3 favourite in the boxing betting from bet365 to come out on top and secure yet another impressive victory during this recent career surge of his when he faces off with Kid Galahad in 2019.
The pair have been confirmed to be colliding in a massive all-British and, more specifically, all-Yorkshire encounter at some stage in the coming months. That, for now, rules out a rematch against Frampton, but it’s still a possibility further down the line for sure, based on the action the two men provided in their superb initial match-up.
With a Warrington rematch put aside for now, there are plenty of other potentially cracking bouts for a still very hopeful Frampton. The Tiger’s Bay fighter originally casted doubts over his professional career, with retirement previously looming large in light of his second loss. But emotions were clearly just running high on fight night and he now has the drive to pursue his goals once again before bowing out for good.
The now 31-year-old has outlined intentions of tackling either Mexican brawler Oscar Valdez or former conqueror Leo Santa Cruz later this year. The former currently holds the WBO featherweight belt, having won it back in 2016, and his style would likely make for a pulsating clash with Frampton in 2019.
Meanwhile, Santa Cruz is a fight that the Belfast man has craved for some time. Frampton’s greatest career night came with a win over the Mexican back in July 2016. But that career high was followed up by his maiden setback in their rematch, both of which occurred on American territory.
Whichever path Frampton chooses to follow, with the help and guidance of current promoter Frank Warren and trainer Jamie Moore, he seemingly has more to give to the sport in which he has reigned as a two-weight world champion in.