Carl Frampton return set for November 18 in Belfast
Former two-weight world titleholder Carl Frampton will return to action against an opponent who is yet to be confirmed at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on November 18.
Frampton, who is rated No. 3 by THE RING at featherweight, was scheduled to face Andres Gutierrez in July, but the bout was called off at the eleventh hour when the Mexican puncher suffered severe facial injuries after a fall in a hotel shower.
Since that time, Frampton has split from longtime manager and trainer tandem Barry and Shane McGuigan. The Belfast man then elected to renew ties with Frank Warren, who promoted some of his earlier bouts, and signed an advisory deal with Matthew Macklin’s MTK Global. He will be coached by former British and European champion Jamie Moore.
THE RING Fighter of the Year for 2016 is happy to be back and seeks a significant test.
“It can’t be a mug, it has to be a credible opponent,” said Frampton at the press conference announcing his return. “I want to get one of the big boys next year and put the last year behind me. The last year has been a disaster. I lost my first fight (to Leo Santa Cruz in January), then my last fight fell through and combine that with everything else that’s gone on.
“I’m just excited to be back in Belfast. I keep harping on about it, but I love this place. Hopefully we can show the world what Belfast is all about. I’m feeling good. My weight is good, which isn’t always the case. I need to make sure I make weight after missing it (by a pound for the abandoned bout with Gutierrez) last time.”
Frampton (23-1, 14 knockouts) is looking to regain a title at 126 pounds but aspires to go higher.
“It’s an exciting stage for me now,” said the ex-champion. “I’m enjoying boxing again. I believe that I have another world title in me at this weight but we were also looking at Jezreel Corrales (WBA junior lightweight titleholder). Off his last performance (technical decision win over Robinson Castellanos) I think I can beat him to become a three-weight world champion.
“The fight I really want is Santa Cruz because I feel that I have a score to settle. But you also have (IBF featherweight titleholder) Lee Selby, (WBO featherweight titleholder) Oscar Valdez and (WBC featherweight titleholder) Gary Russell.”
Moore, who has trained former world title challenger Macklin and Tommy Coyle among others, is excited to be working with the talented former champion.
“I’ve always appreciated Carl as a fighter,” said Frampton’s new trainer. “He’s got some amazing attributes which come naturally to him. I was trying to gauge his ambition over the last couple of weeks and for me it’s like he’s approaching his prime. He’s training with a smile on his face, although that’s liable to change over the next couple of weeks.”
Also on the card, Jerwin Ancajas will defend his IBF junior bantamweight title against Jamie Conlan and Zolani Tete will make the first defense of his WBO bantamweight title against an unnamed opponent.
Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing