Carl Frampton: One of these two top fights will bring me back for another world title bid
Watching Andy Murray break down in his press conference about whether to try and play on or not, I could relate exactly to the emotions he was going through.
Murray is having to work out what is the best option for his career and the rest of his life. He said after his defeat at the Australian Open that he doesn’t want to be losing in the first round of Grand Slam tournaments, he wants to be competitive at the elite level and I feel the same way — I want to be able to take on the best, otherwise there’s no point fighting on.
I had been speaking to my management team MTK and I spoke on Thursday to my promoter Frank Warren for the first time since the loss to IBF World featherweight champion Josh Warrington. The conversation went well and he has told me that he expects there to be very good options on the table.
Having had time to think and after speaking to Frank, I feel that I would fight again if the right fight is offered and the terms are right.
Frank and MTK expect there to be interest from the WBO champion Oscar Valdez as well as from my old rival Leo Santa Cruz and those are the fights that appeal to me.
I still can’t say for sure that I will fight again but I don’t have doubts that I still have enough left in the tank to box for another world title and I have the fire in my belly to go back into the elite level and prove a point.
Depending on what the options are, I would even consider a 10-rounder before another world title shot.
If I am to fight again it would be in the summer because I have a court case with Cyclone Promotions coming up in May and that has to be out of the way.
But I also have to make sure that fighting again makes sense for me and my family as I’m not going to be used in any way as just another opponent. Straight after the Warrington fight I did feel low but having spoken to some good people around me I do feel it was a bad night and I didn’t fight the way I know I can and the way I had been in sparring.
No sportsman wants to leave the stage when they think they have more to give and I can see why for Andy Murray — who’s the same age as me, 31 — it is so hard because he feels that injuries are dictating his retirement.
Everybody wants to go out on their own terms but very few sportsmen do and the fact is that as you get older your body starts to show wear and tear because of the repetition that is involved, whether that’s hitting a forehand, swinging a club or punching over and over again.
You can see how much Murray loves his sport and he has done so much for British tennis and I’m sure — like me — he wonders how he would replace that competitive desire, that sense of putting it all on the line in front of big crowds.
It’s something that you have to prepare for at some point because many sportsmen have struggled to handle it — Ricky Hatton, for example, has spoken openly about missing the buzz of a big fight.
It’s only natural that your ego can cloud your judgment because you want to show yourself and the world that you’re still one of the best in the world and it is something everyone has to guard against.
But I do believe that given the right opportunity, with the right terms, I will take it because I genuinely feel I have what it takes to win — whether that’s against Santa Cruz or Valdez.
Ulster Hall set for another special night of boxing
My mate Conrad Cummings has been given the ideal stage to take his revenge over Luke Keeler when they meet at the Ulster Hall on March 29.
Credit to both guys for taking the fight. Keeler could have gone a different direction, arguing he won the first fight comfortably, and Conrad could have kicked on further after winning back the WBO European title. But they’re going to come together in a crucial fight for both.
I actually think it will be much better than the first one because Conrad will have learned lessons so it should be a cracker and the Ulster Hall is a special place for boxing.
Profile Khan do wonders
Some people may be surprised at Amir Khan getting a shot at World welterweight champion Terence Crawford but it just goes to show you the importance of being a marketable fighter.
It’s one thing having talent but another if you’re an exciting, entertaining fighter and Khan is rarely in a boring fight.
You can see the difference when you look at Guillermo Rigondeaux who fought last week for $25,000, a year after losing to Vasyl Lomachenko.
Kell Brook is obviously very annoyed that he didn’t face him and, sadly for the Sheffield man, he doesn’t have the same profile on the world stage. He needs Khan more than Khan needs him.
Doheny's dedication is paying off at the very top
TJ Doheny is carving out one of the great Irish boxing success stories and in the early hours of yesterday morning he kept it going with a stoppage of Japan’s Ryohei Takahashi in the first defence of his IBF World super-bantamweight title.
TJ and I go right back to the amateur days, when we actually fought each other, and I’m delighted to see the way he has risen to the very top.
TJ has done it the hard way. He went out to Australia and fought on small cards and when his chance came in Japan to win the world title he grabbed it, defeating Ryosuke Iwasa. Now there is strong talk that he will go on to fight WBA champion Daniel Roman in a unification fight.
All credit to him for working hard to give himself such a good career and it just shows again what boxing can do for you when you’re completely dedicated.
Belfast Telegraph Digital