WBA orders Frampton to face Rigondeaux by July 27
In the days leading up to their junior featherweight title unification bout last Saturday, both Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg expressed interest in facing former RING champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, widely considered the top fighter in the division. After he won a decision – and the WBA title – against Quigg, however, Frampton (who also holds the IBF strap) spoke of rising in weight and facing WBA featherweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz.
Now, the WBA is trying to put pressure on Frampton to make sure that doesn’t happen. If Frampton opts to remain at 122 pounds, he would have to face THE RING-rated No. 1 junior featherweight Rigondeaux, according to the rules of the WBA championship committee, which were laid out on the organization’s website on Wednesday. Frampton must therefore fight Rigondeaux on or before July 27 to keep his WBA junior featherweight title, the WBA also declared.
If Frampton and Rigondeaux (16-0, 10 knockouts) cannot work out a deal, the fight will go to a purse bid. Because THE RING-rated No. 2 junior featherweight Frampton (22-0, 14 KOs) also holds the IBF 122-pound title, he seemingly has options. For Frampton to face Rigondeaux in the near future, the former two-time Olympic gold medalist Rigondeaux has to prevail against massive underdog James Dickens (21-1, 6 KOs) in their 10-round bout on March 12.