Carl Frampton will face Raul Hirales for the vacant IBF Inter Continental super bantamweight title at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham on May 26.
Frampton provides the chief support live on Sky Sports in the UK and broadcast in over 30 countries ahead of Carl Froch’s IBF super middleweight world title clash with Lucian Bute. The unbeaten Belfast star is aiming to add the Inter Continental strap to his Commonwealth belt and faces his toughest fight in the pro ranks to date as the Mexican puts his unbeaten record on the line too.
Hirales has eight knockouts to his name from 16 wins and a draw, and as Frampton eyes a winter date with Kiko Martinez in Belfast, his manager Barry McGuigan believes the 28 year old Mexican is the step up Carl needs as he aims for a World title shot – and leaves domestic rivals Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe behind.
“You cannot get tougher than an unbeaten Mexican prospect, it’s a great challenge and one Carl needs and is excited about,” said Frampton’s manager Barry McGuigan. “Hirales has beaten three prospects already and has eight KOs on his record so we’re up against it but it’s a great opportunity for Carl on a huge global platform. We want to meet Kiko Martinez in Belfast in September and we’re moving on from Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe now as we’re annoyed that they are fighting each other and not Carl.”
“We wanted a big step up in class and we've got it,” added Frampton’s promoter Eddie Hearn. “Hirales is a tough, unbeaten and highly rated Mexican and we hope he can provide a stern test for Carl. Victory here will set up a Kiko Martinez fight for September and from there we want to be in a position to challenge current IBF Champ Jeffrey Mathebula for the title.”
Frampton is part of a huge night of boxing in Nottingham with Froch’s mission to become at three-time World champion at the expense of Bute coming after Erick Ochieng defends his English light middleweight title against Nottingham’s AA Lowe, Bute’s fellow Canadian and IBF Inter-Continental light welterweight champion Pier Olivier Cote making his UK debut and exciting unbeaten stars John Ryder, Ryan Aston and Team GB star Scotty Cardle.
Tickets for Froch’s IBF World super middleweight title challenge to Bute are on sale now priced £80 and £150 from the Capital FM Arena Nottingham website www.capitalfmarena.com and on 08444 124624 – £40, £60, £100 and £200 tickets have sold-out, as have the VIP packages priced at £300.