Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Frampton gets chance for gloey in IBF title eliminator

Countdown: Belfast fighter Carl Frampton battles world No.4 Jeremy Parodi on October 19
Countdown: Belfast fighter Carl Frampton battles world No.4 Jeremy Parodi on October 19

The irony wasn't lost on Carl Frampton. As he was announcing his European title defence, former victim Kiko Martinez was in America just days away from fighting IBF world champion Jonathan Romero.

"That's boxing," said Frampton with a shrug of acceptance that he is now right in the middle of the minefield that is the Noble Art's political machinations which must be overcome in order to land a world title fight.

"We tried to make the Romero fight but they didn't want it," The 'Jackal' added.

In boxing you rarely get what you deserve but more so what you can negotiate and that task is now firmly in the lap of Frampton's manager and promoter Barry McGuigan who yesterday announced the Belfast man will be defending his European super-bantamweight title against Frenchman Jeremy Parodi on October 19 at the Odyssey Arena.

Parodi, who has one loss and one draw in 37 fights, is ranked fourth in the IBF rankings – one below Frampton and 11 higher than Martinez, following the Spaniard's knockout defeat at the hands of The Jackal back in February.

The IBF title is the one Team Frampton are targeting and on Saturday night the picture will become a little clearer as the winner of Martinez and Romero will have to face former champion Jeffrey Mathebula within 90 days. The winner of that will then have to face the either Frampton or Parodi.

It sounds simple but this is boxing and bringing about such a natural order of events is never easy – and former champion McGuigan knows it.

"Boxing is filled with roadblocks, that's the way it is but I'm not concerned with that all. Obviously the politics of boxing is something that you have to navigate your way around ... Kiko got a chance in a voluntary defence by Romero and there's nothing you can do about that," said McGuigan.

"You can stand there and say 'that's not fair' but that's just the game so you just have to get on with it. We have the right people behind us, money is not an issue.

"It doesn't help that Carl knocks people out and puts the fear of God into them and we had a lot of guys who turned the fight down. But this guy Parodi believes he can beat Carl. As soon as we asked they said 'yes' right away. He's completely convinced that he can box the head off Carl. He will come and have a go at Carl.

"He's number four, there's no number two and the mandatory is fighting for the title within 90 days after Saturday night so we are clearing the way, we're getting into the position where Carl will be the mandatory challenger."

By the time fight night comes, Frampton – who will be putting his European title and IBF inter-continental title on the line as well as boxing for Parodi's IBF international title – will have been out of the ring for eight months and is relishing a return to the Odyssey.

"The atmosphere the last time was amazing. I can't wait to get back into the ring. I don't think you can create an atmosphere like that anywhere else in Britain or Ireland, it's special," said Frampton.

The supporting bill will be headed by exciting unbeaten Belfast man Jamie Conlan in a WBO international super-flyweight title fight, while 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Eamonn O'Kane is also on the card, among other Irish boxers.

Tickets go on sale from the Odyssey on Monday.

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