Three Northern Ireland boxers will get world title chances in the next 12 months: Arum
Promoter Bob Arum has revealed that he will be working on world title opportunities for Carl Frampton, Michael Conlan and Ryan Burnett all within the next 12 months.
The world's leading promoter is weighing up the options for all three world-class operators, with Frampton now expected to fight for the WBO World featherweight title before Christmas. The Jackal will return to the ring on August 10 or 24 with the earlier date more likely.
WBO champion Oscar Valdez will make the latest defence of his belt against Jason Sanchez on June 8 and the pathway would be clear for him to face Frampton but there is a real possibility he will then move up to super-featherweight.
Arum revealed: "Oscar could well move up a division after his fight on June 8 and that would mean that Carl might well fight for the vacant world title. I would see that happening before the end of the year.
"Carl will have his next fight on August 10 or 24 and then we will see what happens after that. Carl's a big name in the States because of those two fights he had with Leo Santa Cruz and he's an exciting fighter.
"What fans want is entertainment - they want to see a warrior and that's what he is. There may be other guys who are technically more proficient but not as crowd pleasing, they don't bring that entertainment value."
Fellow Belfast man Conlan is also out in August when he headlines at the Feile in Falls Park against bitter rival Vladimir Nikitin and should he be victorious, Arum believes a world title shot at Madison Square Garden on St Patrick's Day 2020 is an obvious target.
"After this fight with Nikitin we will put Michael into more significant fights than he has been in and get him pushed up the world rankings. I would think early next year he will be fighting for a world title," added Arum.
"Michael has progressed very well and I believe Adam Booth is doing a great job with him and this fight with Nikitin is going to be a great occasion."
Arum's latest Northern Ireland signing, Burnett, enjoyed a comfortable return to the ring on Friday night when he picked up the WBC international super-bantamweight title with a stoppage of Jelbirt Gomera of the Philippines in the Ulster Hall.
Now he is also plotting the route to a world title shot, having lost his WBA bantamweight belt to Nonito Donaire in November.
Donaire was at ringside to witness Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue blast out Emmanuel Rodriguez to land the IBF belt and the two men will now meet in the final of the World Boxing Super Series.
Arum added: "It won't be long before Burnett is back in the world title mix. We have just signed Inoue, who I believe will win the World Boxing Super Series final and we could then put Burnett in with him.
"There's also the possibility of a rematch with Donaire, which I think the fans would like to see because it's a case of unfinished business because Burnett lost his title due to a freak injury."
Meanwhile, unbeaten Coalisland super-featherweight Feargal McCrory is desperately seeking a big fight after a straightforward stoppage of late replacement Elvis Guillen in just 164 seconds at the Europa Hotel on Saturday night.
"I need big tests to bring out the best in me. I want to take on some of the top guys. I've a lot of things to work on but I'm making improvements and that will stick to me. I'll take on any of the top super-featherweights with a full camp behind me," said McCrory.
Former world title challenger James Tennyson continued his progress as a lightweight with a routine second round stoppage of Brayan Mairena of Nicaragua, while cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy stopped Jiri Svacina of the Czech Republic in the third.
Super-bantam Cathy McAleer stopped Romanian Cristina Busuioc in the second round.
Meanwhile, WBC World heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder set his sights on Anthony Joshua after defending his title with a brutal first-round knockout of Dominic Breazeale in New York.
The American sent Breazeale crashing to the canvas with a steamroller right hand just two minutes and 17 seconds into the opener at the Barclays Center.
Wilder is adamant he will clash with Joshua, though it is likely to be pushed back until 2020. "It will happen. I believe in all my heart it will happen," said Wilder.