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Carl Frampton's world title fight set for New York switch due to coronavirus pandemic

Madison Square Garden could host Jackal's bout in autumn as Windsor Park ruled out

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Fight on: Carl Frampton will face Jamel Herring but the details of when and where are as yet uncertain.

Fight on: Carl Frampton will face Jamel Herring but the details of when and where are as yet uncertain.

Fight on: Carl Frampton will face Jamel Herring but the details of when and where are as yet uncertain.

Carl Frampton's showdown with WBO world featherweight champion Jamel Herring could well be heading to New York due to the coronavirus.

Jamie Conlan, who looks after the managerial affairs of Frampton, has the headache of trying to plan for when the sports lockdown comes to an end.

With Windsor Park in June now off the table for the Jackal's bout with Herring, the two are more likely to meet in October or November at an indoor venue in the States.

Conlan's brother Michael had hoped for a big fight in August at Falls Park, but that is now on the back burner and, according to Jamie, September is the more likely option for the WBO inter-continental featherweight champion's return to the ring, having last boxed in December.

Both Belfast fighters are represented by Bob Arum's promotional company Top Rank, which also looks after WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson. It has been mooted that Stevenson could be making a move up to super-feather.

Jamie, the vice-president of management company MTK, said: "Of course Carl would love the fight with Herring to be at Windsor Park, but this virus means realistically we can't do it there.

"The thing about boxing, unlike say football, is that you can't just go straight back into the ring when the lockdown is lifted - you need around eight weeks of preparation to fight once a date and venue is set, so at best big fights won't be happening until September.

"When we first discussed Carl's fight with Herring in Vegas last year, Bob Arum was the strongest advocate for it happening in Belfast and that would be ideal, but now we are looking at Madison Square Garden as a serious option for the fight.

"Carl has never boxed at the Garden and it is one of those iconic arenas that every fighter wants to box in.

"From speaking to Carl, his mindset is now that while Belfast is obviously his No.1 preference, he just wants to get the fight on.

"The one big positive for Carl is that he has a gym in his garage, so he can keep training, keep doing his strength and conditioning and also go for good runs. Herring won't have that kind of option, so Carl will be ahead of the curve."

While it is a frustrating time for brother Michael, manager Jamie says he is in a similar position to Frampton in regard to being able to tick over at home. The plan had been for Michael to have an eliminator in August and then shoot for world glory before the end of the year.

Jamie (right) added: "I'm still having meetings to see if it would be possible for Michael to box in Belfast at the end of August or early September. We need to have a few dates that we can fall back on, depending on when we are given the go-ahead for boxing to start again.

"The good thing for Michael is that he will have options because of the position he is in at the moment, and being at home he can stay in decent shape. I do know that before his fight on St Patrick's Day got cancelled his coach Adam Booth was very happy with how he was performing in the gym.

"We know the world title fight will come and it's just about making sure that we do it at the right time."

As for the overall planning of future shows, Jamie has been in regular contact with Sky Sports and American giant ESPN as he seeks to be ready to hit the ground running.

"When we know we can start setting dates, it's going to be like Wacky Races for all the promoters, just scrambling to get shows sorted. It's a real headache at the moment - I spent 50 minutes the other night speaking to a promoter about fights and then we just finished asking each other, 'But when are they going to happen?'"

Belfast Telegraph