Carl Frampton hasn’t fought since his defeat to Josh Warrington for the IBF Featherweight title back in December of 2018. Many fans and the fighter himself where left to wonder, what’s next?
As Frampton is Northern Ireland’s most successful boxer, a two-weight world title holder and probably the most well-supported sports stars we have had in a very long time. Of course us fans want to know more….
The Northern Irishman considered retirement after this defeat, but with time off to dissect the performance, The Jackal inked a co-promotional agreement with Top Rank/ESPN in America and almost looks likely to make his return to the US.
Reports suggest that Frampton will headline in the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this August.
The 32-year old has stated that he wants one more run at a title, so let’s look at the possibilities:
1-Taking on WBO Featherweight champion Oscar Valdez
After defeating Nonito Donaire in 2018, Frampton won the interim WBO Featherweight title which would set him up for a future show-down with WBO champ Oscar Valdez. Frampton defended the interim title against Luke Jackson in Windsor Park, but was later beaten by Josh Warrington for the IBF title.
Although his previous bout was for a different title, this puts into question does Frampton still hold the WBO interim title? The unbeaten Mexican in Valdez, recently defended his title for the sixth time against Jason Sanchez this past June and wants to move up in weight to take on the other champions.
With Frampton’s legal case against former trainer Barry McGuigan and Cyclone Promotions in proceedings, it sure dosen’t seem like the right time for the Valdez bout.
Frampton is back in training, and I’d expect this fight to be make at the end of the year if the champion is interested, it is one that makes complete sense.
2-Leo Santa Cruz rematch?
Who can forget the summer of 2016? In July at the Barclays Centre in New York, the Northern-Irish man defeated WBA Super-Featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz by majority decision.
This handed the Mexican Cruz his first defeat of his career, and Frampton a moment that he would never forget winning the WBA in enemy territory. Frampton then gave the former champion an imminent rematch in January 2017, where The Jackal subsequently lost.
Cruz has defended the WBA title four times after their second meeting between the two, his last title defense was in February of this year.
I’m not quite sure of Frampton or Santa Cruz’ intentions, if both men have moved on from their rivalry or want to spark the fire for a third?
3-Why not Gary Russell Jr and his WBC title?
This is something that hasn’t really been talked about, if at all. There is a lot that links Russell Jr and Frampton, and is a fight I would say is an easier match-up than the previous two.
From winning the WBC Featherweight title back in 2015 over Christopher Martin Pena, the American in Russell hasn’t really been tested for his crown. Wins over Jhonny Gonzalez, Irishman Patrick Hyland, Oscar Escandon, Joseph Diaz and most recently Kiko Martinez aren’t all well-known fighters.
Apart from Kiko Martinez, some of you may of heard of this man. Yes Frampton defeated the Spaniard back in 2013 for his first title, while Russell Jr knocked him out in the fifth round in May this year.
If I was Frampton’s team MTK and promoter Frank Warren, I would certainly push the boat out and lobby for this bout with the WBC champion!
A tune up bout is likely before any of these world title fights, especially considering that each of these three champions have fought recently and taking into consideration Frampton’s ongoing legal case. I expect a tune-up fight first of all.
No opponent name has been announced, but someone like Miguel Marriaga, Eduardo Ramirez or Jessie Magdaleno would fit the bill for Frampton’s second professional US bout.