By Terence Dooley
British boxing was handed a massive boost earlier today when Belfast's Carl Frampton, 19-0 (13), revealed that his IBF Super bantamweight defence against Chris Avalos, 25-2 (19), will be shown live on terrestrial TV. ITV have picked up the rights for the mandatory bout, which takes place at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena on February 28.
Barry and Shane McGuigan have guided Frampton's career throughout, showing a lot of faith in his ability and potential popularity from day one. Indeed, Barry netted ITV huge figures in the 1980s when his world featherweight title tussles against Eusebio Pedroza and Danilo Cabrera made their respective year’s Top Tens, bringing in 18 and 18.30 million viewers in 1985 and 1986 respectively. Frampton will hope to post impressive figures for his maiden defence.
It is the first defence of the belt "The Jackal" won by out-pointing Kiko Martinez in September. The Irish fans turned out in force for that one, and the decision to fight on a free-to-air network will further increase his exposure and appeal.
Avalos earned his spurs by Yasutaka Ishimoto in May; he marked time by scoring a fifth-round stoppage win over Jose Sen Torres in November. The 25-year-old is known as "The Hitman" and will has set his sight's on Frampton's crown, pledging to bring it back home to California.
Frampton, though, is the clear favourite, the 27-year-old will be inspired by the move to ITV and will want to send out a statement to Scott Quigg, his domestic rival, and the rest of the division's titlists.
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