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Frampton could return for world title bout with Valdez still an option


Sore point: Carl Frampton loses to Josh Warrington
Sore point: Carl Frampton loses to Josh Warrington
David Kelly

By David Kelly

Fighting men have always found it hard not to believe they have unfinished business in the ring and Carl Frampton clearly feels he can rise again on the back of his defeat at the hands of IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington.

Frampton, 32 next month, admits his early thoughts were of retirement having lost to Warrington as he went into their December 22 clash at the Manchester Arena as the favourite but found himself in a slugfest, which clearly suited the Leeds hero who triumphed on points.

While not categorically stating he will return to the ring, the former super-bantamweight and featherweight king has now heavily hinted that he would be willing to accept a shot at a world title if given the chance.

A rematch with Warrington would have been the ideal option as he would no doubt like to put the record straight but the Leeds man has been ordered by the IBF to make a mandatory defence against No.1 challenger Kid Galahad and that fight will most likely happen in May or June.

Prior to his defeat to Warrington, Frampton was in line for a big fight with WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez and that could still be a possibility for the Belfast man who was hurt badly by the loss to the IBF king. Now, it seems, he would like another opportunity to prove he is still world class.

"It depends on what I get offered. The last thing I want is Horacio Garcia, Nonito Donaire, Luke Jackson to get a shot at a world title again," said Frampton.

"I want to be walking into a big fight again or the premise of one fight and then a big fight, but I'm not prepared to go around the houses again.

"After the fight with Warrington I was done. Immediately after the fight, 'That's me, I'm never going to box again', so much so I said to my wife Christine, 'I'm done. I don't want to do this anymore'.

"But things have changed; my opinion has changed. The fight wasn't how it was meant to go; I didn't carry the game plan.

"People who wouldn't have any financial benefit from it have told me I've plenty left and I thought, 'Do you know what? It was a bad night'.

"The weight was okay; it was something else, and I still know I've got enough left.

"If I'd been getting beaten up in sparring that may have been time, but I sparred well and was in good shape going into the fight, but I didn't carry out the game plan.

"The first two rounds took a lot out of me as well; I underestimated his power, and it just wasn't me, a typical performance. I usually get up on my toes and move around."

Frampton is suing his former manager and promoter Barry McGuigan, his wife Sandra and Cyclone Promotions on multiple grounds, including alleged withheld earnings from fights and a breach of the terms of an international promotional agreement.

In turn, Frampton faces an action from them for an alleged breach of contract, potentially a significant distraction, but he insists neither is a concern.

"It's nothing I'm worried about, I'm sleeping easy," added Frampton, maintaining that it will not influence whether he fights again or not. I'll see what the options are. I'll hopefully know pretty soon."

• Belfast welterweight Paddy Gallagher will be favourite to pick up the WBO European title - not to be confused with the EBU belt - when he tops the bill at the York Hall, Bethnel Green on February 22.

Freddy Kiwitt has a record of 13 wins and two defeats but has not beaten anyone in Gallagher's class and in 2017 lost his Southern Arena title.

Carl Frampton was talking at the thinkBeyond Talent launch event, overseen by Benchmark Talent

Belfast Telegraph


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