Carl Frampton to face Chris Avalos
Carl Frampton will defend his IBF junior featherweight title against Chris Avalos either on Feb. 28 or March 27 at the Odyssey Arena in Frampton’s hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland, IBF President Daryl Peoples informed RingTV.com on Thursday.
“We tentatively approved the fight for either February 28 or March 27 in Belfast,” said Peoples, although several reports have listed the date as Feb. 28. “We will give formal sanction once we receive the signed contracts. At that point, we will have all of the details ‘officially.'”
Frampton is promoted by Cyclone Promotions, and Avalos is represented by Top Rank.
Avalos (24-2, 18 knockouts) had been the mandatory challenger to the WBO belt owned by RING champion Gullermo Rigondeaux, who also holds the WBA’s title.
In September, however, Avalos declined a planned Nov. 22 bout against Rigondeaux that was targeted for either Miami or the Dominican Republic, according to a Tweet by WBO President Paco Valcarcel, doing so to pursue a shot at Frampton (19-0, 13 KOs).
Avalos, 24, has won six consecutive fights, four by knockout, including stoppages in the past three since falling by split decision to Jhonatan Romero in December 2011. Avalos is coming off last month’s fifth round knockout of Jose Cen Torres.
Avalos became the IBF’s mandatory challenger with his eighth-round stoppage of Yasutaka Ishimoto in May, this, at a time when the organization’s beltholder still was Kiko Martinez.
Martinez secured an exception from the IBF to face Frampton rather than Avalos, and was dethroned by Frampton following a unanimous decision loss in a September rematch of Frampton’s ninth-round stoppage win from February 2013.
Although Frampton was injured in the bout with Martinez, and was expected to be sidelined until November, IBF Championships Chairman, Lindsay Tucker, informed RingTV.com that he was contacted by Top Rank regarding its pursuit of a fight with Frampton.