Monday 26 June 2017

'It doesn't need to be a world title fight but I can't fight a mug' - Carl Frampton looks to Belfast for next fight

Carl Frampton watches on during the Frank Warren Championship Boxing bill at the Waterfront Hall on March 10, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Carl Frampton watches on during the Frank Warren Championship Boxing bill at the Waterfront Hall on March 10, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Former WBA featherweight champion Carl Frampton has indicated that his next professional fight will be in his native Belfast, after learning earlier this month that current WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz was ordered by the WBA to defend his belt against Abner Mares.

Frampton suffered the first defeat of his professional career in January when Santa Cruz defeated the 30-year-old by majority decision in a 12-round bout in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

After the fight Frampton immediately started to campaign for a trilogy fight with Santa Cruz but both camps could not come to an agreement to negotiate a third bout, with Santa Cruz's father and cornerman Jose fearing that his son's chances of potentially winning the fight could be jeopardised by a Belfast crowd that he feels may be able to influence the judges.

But with Santa Cruz currently occupied with Mares, Frampton will look to announce is next fight over the coming weeks with the Jackal insisting that whoever he fights, it needs to be a 'big time' opponent and not 'some mug'.

"It needs to be a big fight and that's what it will be," Frampton told the BBC at the launch of Harp’s #PureHere mural in Cathedral Quarter, Belfast on Wednesday.

"It doesn't need to be a world title fight but I can't fight a mug - it needs to be a credible opponent and a few names are in the hat."

"I'm pretty confident things are working behind the scenes and we're going to hear something very soon."

"It will be a big fight at home, which is something I've always wanted. It will be the end of July or early August and I can't wait to get going."

IBF champion Lee Selby is an unlikely opponent for Frampton as he will fight Jonathan Victor Barros, with purse bids for that fight expected on Thursday, while WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. will face Columbian fighter Óscar Escandón in the United States next month.

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