Frampton out to show he is back in world title mix
Carl Frampton will finally seek to place himself back on the trail of a world title shot when he meets unbeaten American Tyler McCreary at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on November 30.
The Jackal will have been out of the ring for a year when he steps through the ropes next month due to his initial return being scuppered by a freak injury that left him with a broken hand just six days out from a proposed Philadelphia fight with Emiliano Dominguez in August.
Frampton will relish returning to Vegas to put on an eye-catching performance, having lost there in January 2017 at the hands of Leo Santa Cruz. The Mexican has vacated the WBA World title and moved up to super-featherweight and will also be boxing in Vegas seven days before the Jackal on the supporting bill to WBC World heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
The featherweight scene is going through a changing of the guard at the moment as Oscar Valdez, who will top the bill at the Cosmopolitan, has vacated the WBO crown and will make his super-featherweight debut against Mexican Andres Gutierrez - the man who famously slipped in the shower in the summer of 2017 just 24 hours before he was to have faced Frampton in Belfast's SSE Arena.
While Shakur Stevenson and Joet Gonzalez will meet for the vacant WBO title later this month and Josh Warrington continues to reign supreme with the IBF belt, following up last November's victory over Frampton with wins over Kid Galahad and - last weekend - Frenchman Sofiane Takoucht, it remains to be seen who will fight for the WBA crown.
Frampton's return to the title mix is dependent on victory over McCreary, who has been handed a golden opportunity to make a name for himself on a bill that will be shown live on ESPN and BT Sport.
"I'm delighted to be making a comeback after what has been a horrific year in my career," said Frampton, who is now promoted by Bob Arum's Top Rank company.
"I didn't get the Top Rank deal off to an ideal start with the injury I suffered. I was really angry because it was such a stupid injury that could and should have been prevented and I was angry for the money people had ultimately wasted having booked to come out to support me and also the fact I had been away from my family for 12 weeks.
"But coming back in Vegas is great for me, especially against a really strong opponent. It needed to be someone who would test me.
"McCreary is a quality opponent, but if I want to be competing against the top guys in the world, which I believe I can, then I need to be beating guys like him and doing it in style."
Top Rank boss Arum added: "This is a tremendous double-header, and both Valdez and Frampton have their hands full against tough opponents. If Valdez and Frampton win, world title opportunities await them in 2020."
While Frampton will be expected to triumph next month, McCreary says he is ready to take advantage of the 32-year-old's inactivity and cause an upset.
McCreary, from Toledo, Ohio, knows he is taking a significant step up in class against Frampton but insists he is ready on the back of an unbeaten 16-fight record.
"It's a big step up for me, but I feel that I'm ready for it," McCreary said. "It's an opportunity I couldn't turn down, and I feel that every fight is a risk. This is one where, if anything, I would love to risk my undefeated record against a fighter like Frampton.
"A win here means a world title shot next.
"I was in the gym training for my October 26 fight and my trainer Lamar Wright said we got a call that Carl Frampton was looking for a fight. They didn't have anyone, and I said, 'I'll take it'. I didn't hesitate."