Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Frampton sights on champion Romero

Carl Frampton beat Kiko Martinez and could be about to fight for World title

Manager Barry McGuigan says he wants protege Carl Frampton to go straight into a World title fight in his next contest.

McGuigan, currently in California, watched Jonathan Romero lift the vacant IBF super-bantamweight title with a split decision verdict over Mexican Alejandro Lopez in Tijuana.

Now the former World champion is eager for newly-crowned European title holder Frampton to take on the Colombian in Belfast.

McGuigan said: "Having watched the World title fight I would have no fear whatsoever about putting Carl into a fight with the new champion Jonathan Romero.

"Of course Romero is a good fighter and it was a good fight on Saturday night but I believe that Carl is more than ready for him, particularly after the way he beat Kiko Martinez.

"Some people might think that it is crazy to think about going straight into a world title fight, they may think that Carl needs more experience but I know that with the right sparring he will be ready.

"Romero is a tall, rangy guy who likes to throw punches from range so that would be a completely different fight than the Martinez one but Carl can adjust, no doubt about it.

"Carl has plenty of options now but if we can get the Romero fight on the right terms then I would go for that, no problem.

"Of course the next step is to start talking to Romero's people and to the IBF to see if it can be made so we'll see how that goes."

Frampton is due to return to the ring on May 11 at the Odyssey Arena and a final eliminator for a shot at Romero's crown had been the likely option on the back of the Belfast man's stunning stoppage win over Spaniard Martinez.

But now there seems to be a real possibility that if the right figures can be agreed with Team Romero then Frampton could have a straight shot at the World title.

Sky television would certainly be very keen on such a fight, with their head of boxing Adam Smith delighted with Frampton's recent win over hard punching Martinez.

Smith said: "I thought it was a superb event. Barry McGuigan was my hero growing up and the atmosphere took us right back to that time and I know that Belfast has long been a fantastic boxing city.

"And I think over the years when we have come with Eamonn Loughran, Eamonn Magee and Brian Magee I think we have waited for someone like Carl Frampton to re-ignite the fans.

"We have been here a few times and I think this was a night when we got the electricity we were looking for.

"Straight after the fight I wrote something down for the commentators and it was 'lift-off' and I think that it was – Carl's a little star here and I think he has what it takes to become a real star.

"And of course with all fighters you need rivals and in Scott Quigg he has that, both of them can go on to become world champions and that's a massive fight whether it's this year or next year and you need great rivals in your division so I'm really excited about Carl Frampton."

Now McGuigan hopes to deliver Frampton's dream – a World title shot in Belfast.

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