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Carl Frampton-Chris Avalos fight to be shown on free TV in the UK

27
Jan
Carl Frampton drops Kiko Martinez in Round 5 of their IBF junior featherweight world title bout at the purpose-built 16,000 capacity Titanic slipway outdoor arena on Sept. 6, 2014 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Carl Frampton drops Kiko Martinez in Round 5 of their IBF junior featherweight world title bout at the purpose-built 16,000 capacity Titanic slipway outdoor arena on Sept. 6, 2014 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

IBF junior featherweight titleholder Carl Frampton’s defense against American contender Chris Avalos, in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Feb. 28, will be shown live in the UK by free-to-air channel, ITV.

News that unbeaten Frampton, THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior featherweight, has agreed to the one-off deal with one of the original broadcasters of elite boxing in Britain was confirmed on Tuesday. It is a huge coup for ITV, an organization pretty much frozen out of boxing by the emergence of Sky Sports.

The last title fight ITV screened was Carl Froch’s super middleweight title-winning victory over Jean Pascal in 2008.

Both the 27-year-old Frampton and his manager-promoter Barry McGuigan have spoken of their delight at bringing big-time boxing back to the masses.



“When I was a young lad all of the big fights were on ITV, so to be defending my title on the channel is a dream come true. Boxing needs mainstream exposure and I am thrilled to be part of its return to terrestrial television with ITV,” said Frampton (19-0, 13 knockouts).

Frampton’s ever-growing popularity means his anticipated meeting with Avalos (25-2, 19 KOs) at a sold-out 9,000-capacity Odyssey Arena is expected to attract an armchair audience of at least five million – and quite possibly significantly more.

Former featherweight holder McGuigan, whose own glittering career in the mid-1980s was followed every step of the way by the BBC, explained the importance of their decision to work with ITV.

“This is a great day for Carl Frampton and CWM Cyclone Promotions but it is also a great day for the sport of boxing,” said McGuigan. “We are very excited to be partnering with ITV in bringing world championship boxing back to the mainstream public. ITV have for the past thirty years been at the forefront of big time boxing on terrestrial television and it is excellent news that Carl will become the latest in a long line of world champions who have boxed on ITV.

“Frampton versus Avalos is going to be a cracking contest between two of the best super bantamweights in the world. The viewers on ITV are in for a fantastic evening of world class boxing.”