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Carl Frampton

It's utter nonsense to say I've stuck two fingers up at my fans as world title fight against Jamel Herring likely to move to America

Carl Frampton


 

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I've always thought about my fans. It was because of them that I went through with my fight against Tyler McCreary in Las Vegas last November despite having a broken hand.

I've always thought about my fans. It was because of them that I went through with my fight against Tyler McCreary in Las Vegas last November despite having a broken hand.

Philip Magowan

I've always thought about my fans. It was because of them that I went through with my fight against Tyler McCreary in Las Vegas last November despite having a broken hand.

As this coronavirus pandemic continues to affect all our lives, I've had to accept the reality that my World title fight with WBO super-featherweight champion Jamel Herring will not be happening at Windsor Park.

To be honest, if the fight with Herring happens before the end of 2020, I'll be hugely relieved and because of that, I was stunned by the heavy criticism from some quarters at the recent suggestion that the fight could happen in New York.

Somehow, there are those who believe that because the fight is now more likely to be in the States that it suits me better because I will get paid more, which is utter nonsense.

First of all, my number one priority was always to fight at Windsor Park and we were getting very close to sealing that deal for June, but then Covid-19 struck the world and the reality is that a stadium fight in Northern Ireland has a limited window of opportunity. I don't see the fight happening before September, so Windsor would seem to be ruled out.

Of course, there is the option of the SSE Arena, but if it is between fighting there and aiming to make history as the first Irish three-weight world champion in Madison Square Garden, then I would go for the Big Apple, simply because I have never headlined there before. To be able to say that I had boxed at the Mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden, would be a real honour.

I loved topping the bill at the SSE Arena, the atmosphere was always incredible and I've also had the privilege of fighting at Windsor, headlining at the Manchester Arena, the Barclays Centre and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, so to have chance to tick the box of having been the main event at MSG would be a dream come true. It's what every fighter would love to do and it is very encouraging that I've been told the top man at MSG has made it clear that he would be very keen to have the fight there.

Secondly, I have to make it crystal clear to those who are saying I want to go to the States because I'll get a bigger pay-day that it doesn't matter where I fight in relation to how much I get paid. I have a contract with Bob Arum's Top Rank company, which states what I will receive for such a fight and that doesn't change. I could be fighting in my own back garden and I'd get paid the same if I was boxing Herring at Wembley or in a tent in Tigers Bay.

So to say, as some have, that I'm putting two fingers up to the fans by opting to fight in New York is just rubbish. For goodness sake, it was because of my fans that I went through with my fight against Tyler McCreary in Las Vegas last November despite having a broken hand.

I knew that many had come out to Vegas and I didn't want to let them down because they had paid their hard-earned cash to be there. I could easily have withdrawn from the fight, but I went ahead and ended up needing surgery on both hands because of it.

It really infuriates me when people give opinions on something that they know nothing about. It's just like the whole coronavirus situation, when suddenly so many on social media believe they can tell the scientists and the government what they should be doing about it.

The other key factor regarding when and where my fight with Herring will happen is that Jamel is the champion and the only reason he wanted to defend in Belfast was because he wanted to be part of a stadium occasion in the UK.

Like most American fighters, he knows that kind of experience is not going to happen in the States. Like all the American fighters, they are looking at the UK and envious of the shows being put on in front of thousands of fans.

Herring was prepared to come into my back yard to defend his title at Windsor Park, but why would he come here, as the champion, and fight in another indoor arena. I can clearly see from his point of view, it wouldn't make sense when he has the option of defending on home soil at Madison Square Garden.

Just like every other fighter, it would be a dream come true for him to defend his world title at MSG, where so many great fighters have fought.

Whenever and wherever the fight happens, I'll be ready to go and do myself - and my fans - proud.

Belfast Telegraph