Belfast Telegraph

Carl Frampton wants European title assault

By David Kelly

History will be made this weekend when Limerick hosts the first all-Irish European title fight and Belfast prospect Carl Frampton says he wants a shot at the winner.

Willie Casey will have home advantage against Dubliner Paulie Hyland when they clash for the European super-bantamweight crown after champion Kiko Martinez vacated the title due to injury.

“It’s great to see two Irish boxers fight each other for the European title for the first time and I wish them both the best of luck,” said Frampton

“It shows just how strong boxing is here that we have three boxers at this level in the same division at the same time. I know the winner will have to fight Kiko Martinez in his first defence, but after that I want first crack.

“I’m confident I can beat Hyland, Casey and Martinez now, and in six months time I’ll be even better.”

Frampton is currently preparing for his first title shot on December 3 at the Ulster Hall when he takes on Gavin Reid for the Celtic super-bantam crown.

The hard-hitting 23-year-old from Tiger’s Bay is aiming to build on his impressive stoppage win over Yuri Voronin in September.

“I was very happy with how I boxed against Voronin, but there is so much more to come. The sparring I am getting is unbelievable and now I am preparing for a 10 round championship fight I have no fear of doing 12,” added Frampton, whose manager and promoter Barry McGuigan is keen to see him move quickly into the major title scene.

Former World featherweight champion McGuigan said: “Carl has all the tools to get to the very top and even though he has only had seven fights I would be happy to put him in against Hyland or Casey right now.

“Willie has only had 10 fights himself — and three of them were in one night on Prizefighter so I don’t believe experience would be an issue.

“Carl was one of the most successful Irish amateurs of recent years and since turning pro we have had him work with some of the best super-bantams and feathers in Europe so he knows how to adapt to any situation.”

Fellow Belfast prospect Jamie Conlan is also on the Ulster Hall show as he seeks to take another step along the path to a British flyweight title shot.

Just like Frampton, he would seem to be on the fast track to a major title shot and will get the chance to check out the British champion Shinny Bayaar on December 15 as he defends his title at the King’s Hall on the supporting bill to Martin Lindsay’s British featherweight title defence.

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