CARL FRAMPTON WILL bid to become a three-weight world champion when he takes on the WBO world super featherweight champion Jamel Herring on February 27 in London, live on BT Sport in the UK.
The special occasion of 'The Jackal' bidding to make boxing history will be Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions' first show of 2021, in association with MTK Global.
The Frampton-Herring showdown was originally scheduled for the middle of 2020 before being delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, which led to both taking interim fights, with Herring overcoming Jonathan Oquendo following a disqualification in Las Vegas, while Frampton kept busy defeating Darren Traynor via a seventh round stoppage in London.
Belfast's favourite son became world champion at super bantamweight back in September 2014 when he overwhelmed Kiko Martinez on an emotional night outdoors in the Titanic Quarter.
Two successful defences followed - against Chris Avalos and Alejandro Gonzalez - before the now 33-year-old unified his IBF belt with Scott Quigg's WBA title in Manchester, where Frampton clearly prevailed on points.
Then followed two memorable encounters with Leo Santa Cruz up at featherweight, where in the first of which Frampton became a two-weight world champion at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, only to come off second best in the rematch at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Frampton set about a rebuild following his Santa Cruz setback and teamed up with Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren. He was quickly back in the title mix and won the WBO interim world featherweight title with a comprehensive defeat of the decorated Nonito Donaire at the SSE Arena in April 2018.
In August of the same year he got to fulfil a childhood dream of boxing at Belfast's Windsor Park and his Interim status was maintained with a ninth round stoppage of the Aussie Olympian Luke Jackson.
In December came the huge collision with Josh Warrington, with the Leeds man's IBF world featherweight title at stake at the Manchester Arena. A barnstorming start put Warrington firmly on the front foot and, despite gamely sticking in there, Frampton was unable to reverse the momentum.
After considering his future, Frampton decided to go again at super featherweight and got back to winning ways with a clear points victory over Tyler McCreary in November of last year in Las Vegas.
Former Marine Herring, 34, carries a record of 21-2 (10 KOs) and he upset the odds in May of last year by defeating the defending WBO world super featherweight champion Masayuki Ito in Kissimmee.
Prior to this his only title action came with a challenge for the vacant USBA title in September 2018, which he won by defeating John Vincent Moralde on points.
Southpaw Herring defended his world title in November 2019 against mandatory challenger Lamont Roach and won comfortably via decision.
Promoter Frank Warren said: "I am thrilled we are able to deliver this huge opportunity for Carl to reinforce his position as the top Irish fighter of his or any other generation.
"Carl has been and is a tremendous ambassador for the sport and his huge following is testament to the qualities he shows in and out of the ring. The only downside to this fight coming about now is that he will be going into battle without his legion of Belfast fans roaring him on.
"For Carl to become a three-weight world champion would really be something else and in many ways a fitting finale to a magnificent career, although it might not quite be the end of the story.
"Herring is a top fighter and a gentleman who we are looking forward to welcoming over for a huge night on BT Sport."
MTK Global CEO Bob Yalen said: "February 27th promises to be a spectacular night of boxing for all fight fans as the ‘Pride of the Marines’ defends his title against the ‘Pride of Belfast’.
“Carl is bidding to become only the fourth fighter from the UK, and the very first from Northern Ireland, to win World Titles in three weight divisions, and so history beckons him and will drive him in his bid to win that third crown.
“This is an excellent match-up of two outstanding ring technicians and well worth the wait.”
Jamel Herring said: “I’m really excited that the fight is finally happening, more importantly it’ll be an honor to share the ring with a true warrior, and class act such as Carl Frampton. It may be the biggest fight of my career to date, but I’ll be more than ready for the task ahead.
“There’s a lot on the line, and I know he’s aiming to make history, but he’ll have to wait another day, because I plan on returning home with my title in hand. I’ve been training very hard for this fight, and went back to what got me to my world title from sparring the likes of Terence Crawford and other top talent across the nation. I can’t wait to put on a great show!”
Carl Frampton said: “I'm delighted to finally get a date nailed down for this fight that has now been talked about for over a year.
“I have the upmost respect for Jamel as a fighter and as a man but there is nobody stopping me on becoming the island of Irelands only ever 3 weight world champ, one of Britain's only ever 3 weight world champions and potentially have one foot in the hall of fame.”