Carl Frampton to face Australian Luke Jackson at Windsor Park
As reported in the Belfast Telegraph last week, Carl Frampton's opponent at Windsor Park on August 18 will be unbeaten Australian boxer Luke Jackson.
The news was confirmed at a press conference at Windsor Park this afternoon two months out from the big fight, with Paddy Barnes and Tyson Fury - both of whom are also on the bill - in attendance.
Barnes will get his shot at a world title when he takes on Cristofer Rosales for the WBC World flyweight title, while Fury will continue his comeback at the national stadium.
But the main event belongs to Frampton, who is in pole position for a shot at WBO World featherweight champion Oscar Valdez before the end of the year and will be putting that on the line against Aussie Jackson.
The 33-year-old from Tasmania has chalked up 16 straight victories having turned professional in 2013 on the back of competing at the 2012 Olympics and winning Commonwealth Games bronze in 2006.
Now, world-ranked No.5 Jackson - who announced on social media earlier this month he was starting a "10-week gruelling training camp" - is aiming to pull off the win of his career and spoil Frampton's Windsor Park party.
Former World featherweight champion Frampton had hoped to be boxing for a world title at Windsor but injury to Valdez put that option on hold and Josh Warrington's defeat of Lee Selby last month placed the IBF title on ice.
Welshman Selby had been up for an August date with Frampton but Warrington has other plans having built up a huge fan base in Leeds.
WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz, who retained his title at the weekend with a points victory over Abner Mares, is the ultimate target for the Jackal, who is delighted that his dream of fighting at Windsor Park is finally on.
Mexican Santa Cruz immediately made comments suggesting his next target was a unification clash with WBC World featherweight title holder Gary Russell before Christmas.
In victory over Nonito Donaire in April, Frampton picked up the WBO interim featherweight title, which effectively placed him as the mandatory challenger to Valdez, who suffered a broken jaw in his successful defence against Scott Quigg.
Frampton will start a clear favourite against Jackson, who has not fought at the same level as the Belfast man despite his unbeaten record.
Belfast Telegraph Digital