Whose next for Frampton- Five potential opponents

By Joe O’Neil 

Thursday saw big news on the Frampton front with the announcement that the Belfast boxer has teamed up with U.S. boxing Goliath, Al Haymon. Haymon will serve as an advisor to the IBF super bantamweight champion and it now seems likely that the Tiger’s Bay boxer will feature on U.S. terrestrial television through Haymon’s ‘Premier Boxing Champions’ venture. Additionally, with Haymon’s large stable, and penchant for catchweight fights, a whole host of new potential opponents for ‘The Jackal’ have come into play. With an announcement due in the very near future regarding Frampton’s next opponent, irish-boxing.com takes a look through some of the names that could be sharing the ring with the champion this Summer.

Abner Mares
The former three weight world champion and amateur star would be the perfect fighter for Frampton to make his U.S. debut against. Part of Haymon’s stable, the Guadalajara featherweight featured on the inaugural ‘Premier Boxing Champions’ card back in March. The Mexican has previously claimed he would drop down to super bantamweight to fight Frampton after being impressed by the Belfast man’s dismantling of Kiko Martinez last September. Additionally, the 29 year old has said recently that his next fight is in July. Could such a fight already be agreed in principle?

Jhonny Gonzalez
The only man to defeat Mares (KOing him within a round) is another potential opponent for ‘The Jackal’. The former two weight world champion, and veteran of sixteen world title fights, is another recognisable name to Stateside boxing fans and would almost guarantee an exciting fight. The powerful, come-forward, Mexican was beaten in his last outing by Gary Rusell Jnr. on a Premier Boxing Champions card, being stopped inside four rounds. At 33, he is approaching the end of his career, and a last chance saloon assault on the world title held by Frampton may appeal to him.

Rey Vargas
While it is unclear where the rumours originated from, last week the boxing grapevine hotly tipped the Mexican contender to be Frampton’s next defense. The IBF #5, WBO #8, and WBC #4, ranked fighter is a confident figure and the self-styled ‘King’ has claimed that he will win world titles in four divisions. The hard-punching 24 year old’s handlers too have high hopes, believing that he is Mexico’s next boxing superstar. While he may not have any notable wins to date, the confident youngster could still constitute a tricky opponent.

Jonathan Guzman
Boasting a 100% knock-out ratio and never having gone beyond the sixth round, Guzman is a dangerous, easy-to-market, potential opponent. The IBF #8 ranked slugger from the Dominican Republic was actually pencilled in to feature on the undercard of the Frampton-Martinez world title fight last September, perhaps to build his profile in anticipation of a defense – however the fight never went ahead. Another man advised by Haymon, ‘The Salomon King’ would jump at the chance to challenge for the title.

Jessie Magdaleno
IBF #4 ranked fighter is angling for a shot at the champion. The 23 year old southpaw from Las Vegas had said in the lead-up to Frampton’s first world title defence against Chris Avalos that he wanted to fight the winner. Are him and his team pushing for the fight currently? The former U.S. amateur star impressed in his last outing, knocking down former Frampton foe, Raul Hirales, twice en-route to a one-sided points win. It should be noted however that Magdaleno’s promoters do not have the best working relationship with Haymon and this could present a stumbling block to making this fight.

Whoever Frampton faces, U.S. fight fans are sure to love his exciting style that combines the hardest punch-power in the division with elite boxing skills. With persistent rumours that the Belfast man’s upcoming fight will be in Madison Square Garden it looks like superstardom is the next step for ‘The Jackal.’


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