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American Avalos to be first challenger for champion Frampton

By David Kelly

World champion Carl Frampton must make the first defence of his title against American Chris Avalos, according to the International Boxing Federation's Championships chairman Lindsey Tucker.

Speaking exclusively to the Belfast Telegraph, Tucker explained that 27-year-old Frampton was obligated to face Avalos within 90 days following a 30-day period of negotiation between both camps. Though, the injury Frampton sustained to his left hand may well delay that.

Tucker, who was the IBF supervisor for Frampton's memorable victory over Spaniard Kiko Martinez at Titanic Quarter on Saturday night, explained: "Martinez was due to fight Avalos and he got an exemption to fight Frampton on the condition that the winner would fight Avalos without any chance of an exemption or any unification fight.

"I am sending out the letter today to the appropriate promoters that the fight will have 30 days of negotiation and after that it goes to purse bids.

"If an agreement cannot be met then we notify our 25 registered promoters worldwide about the fight and we then call for the bids about 10 days after sending out the letter, so if that happened you would be talking about the middle of October. Then the fight has to happen within 90 days.

"If we are provided with a doctor's letter then we can give the fighter an extension of another 60 days in which to make the defence."

The Jackal and his Jackalite army made a huge impression on the IBF chief and his fellow officials as they created an unforgettable atmosphere for one of the great nights in the history of Northern Ireland sport.

The American contingent, two of whom judged the fight, were simply blown away by the occasion and the media surrounding Frampton's night of world title glory.

"It was a magnificent occasion on Saturday night, to see 16,000 people singing Sweet Caroline and American Pie in the freezing cold was really special indeed," added Tucker.

"I remember being in South Africa and we had about four to five thousand beating drums and dancing and that was special, but this was something else.

"The atmosphere was so good and the fight was so good that it made you forget about the cold, and the fans didn't mind a bit about the cold, they were just right behind their man.

"And I think once the American public get to know Frampton they will really take to him. The fight fans know him and the fight was shown in America but the wider public will start to get to know him.

"That was a great fight with Martinez and I could see one of the big broadcasters taking his next fight.

"The two American IBF judges who came with me for the show were really impressed with Belfast and the whole show.

"Barry McGuigan and Cyclone Promotions really put on a great night, everything was done really well. We all had a great time in Belfast and were really impressed with how everything went."

Now Frampton and his team must await medical opinion to determine how much rest he will require before returning to the ring for his first defence against Avalos, a 24-year-old from California who has lost only twice in 26 fights.

Belfast Telegraph

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