Is Carl Frampton en route to becoming a three-weight world champion?

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Excitement is starting to build amongst UK fight fans, especially those from Northern Ireland. Next month, Carl Frampton will step into the ring to take on WBO world super-feather weight champion Jamel Herring, and the Belfast-born boxer is hoping to become the first fighter from the island of Ireland to win a world title at three different weight classes. 

The fight was scheduled to take place on February 27th. However, Frampton picked up a hand injury in sparring, which put the fight on hold, and whilst there is still no confirmed date for the time being, it is expected to be rearranged for the end of March. 

Frampton won the IBF super-bantamweight title via a unanimous decision victory over Kiko Martínez in Belfast back in 2014 and he unified the division when he overcame the challenge of Scott Quigg, adding the WBA super-bantamweight title to his cabinet. 

Two years later he became a two-weight world champion as he defeated Mexican Léo Santa Cruz at the Barclays Centre in New York. That victory saw Frampton win the WBA featherweight title. However, he lost the belt in the Las Vegas rematch just short of a year later, with Mexican Santa Cruz regaining his title on points.

Frampton’s career was dealt another substantial blow in his next world title fight. The Belfast boxer was largely expected to go to Manchester and strip Josh Warrington of his IBF featherweight title. However, the Yorkshire fighter upset the odds, defending his title rather comfortably on the judge’s scorecards.

That was a defeat that left Frampton pondering retirement, but he has since gotten back on track with victories over Tyler McCreary in Las Vegas and more recently Darren Traynor at London’s York Hall back in August. 

This time the 33-year-old is once again heavily fancied in the Frampton vs Herring odds from Paddy Power, and when the fight, which was supposed to take place last year but was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic, was rescheduled last month for February 27th, ‘The Jackal’ claimed that there is no stopping him from becoming a three-weight world champions. 

“I’m delighted to finally get a date nailed down for this fight that has now been talked about for over a year,” Frampton said.

“I have the utmost respect for Jamel as a fighter and as a man but there is nobody stopping me on becoming the island of Ireland’s only ever three-weight world champ, one of Britain’s only ever three-weight world champions and potentially have one foot in the hall of fame.”

Despite being the challenger, The Jackal has every right to be confident. Throughout his 24-fight career, Herring is yet to face an opponent of Frampton’s quality, and it’ll be a massive step up and question of the American’s mettle come the eventual fight night. 

The former US marine’s CV is lacking victories against the standard of fighters that would give onlookers more confidence of the American upsetting the odds when he steps into the ring against Frampton. However, coming to the United Kingdom for the biggest bout of his career thus far hasn’t lowered Herring’s self-assurance. 

“It’s time to ruin plans and crush dreams,” the 22-2 boxer said. “First it was my size, now they’re worrying about who I’m sparring with. Last I checked, I didn’t know Terence Crawford and I were sparring to kill each other.

“Just be ready to fight when the bell rings. I’m focused over here and I’m cooler than the other side of the pillow. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone soon. I’m excited to jump into a huge matchup. I’ll focus and ignore all distractions.”

Herring’s large height advantage could make life difficult for The Jackal. The American boasts five inches over Frampton in height and a whopping eight inches more in reach. So, if he can keep the Belfast boxer at arm’s length, he could smartly box his way to victory on the scorecards, exactly as he did to win the title in the first place against Masayku Ito in 2019. 

However, Frampton is a very experienced fighter and unlike anyone Herring has faced in the past. Should he be fully recovered and at his very best by the end of next month, then there’s no reason why he shouldn’t overcome the challenge of ‘Semper Fi’ and become a three-weight world champion. 

There is a lot at stake for The Jackal. At 33 years of age and with two failed world title shots already, this is most likely going to be his last shot at winning another belt, and he certainly won’t want to go out on a whimper.  

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