By Terence Dooley
Belfast’s Carl Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs) has rung the changes recently after taking on a new coach in Salford’s Jamie Moore, adding MTK Global in an advisory capacity, and linking up with Frank Warren and BT Sport for what he believes will be a crucial period in his boxing career.
Frampton lost his WBA Super World featherweight title to Leo Santa Cruz by Majority Decision in January, a direct reverse of his previous win over the America-based Mexican. His year got worse after he failed to make weight for a WBC title eliminator against Andres Gutierrez in July, the fight was later spiked after the visitor slipped and injured himself while getting into the bath.
The 30-year-old announced that he was splitting with long-term mentor Barry McGuigan in the weeks following the Gutierrez debacle. He later confirmed that he would be training with Moore in England, ending his association with Shane McGuigan, and would be spending his weekdays with the former British, Commonwealth and EBU light-middleweight champion and his weekends with his family over in Belfast.
Frampton confirmed that he was hooking up with Warren on Sunday and was today unveiled as the promoter’s latest signing, with his first fight date under the new regime confirmed for November 18 at Belfast’s SSE Arena in a show that will also feature a title shot for fellow Belfast resident Jamie Conlan (19-0, 11 KOs), who meets Jerwin Ancajas (27-1-1, 18 early) for the IBF World Super flyweight belt, and Zolani Tete’s (25-3, 20 KOs) first defence of his WBO World bantamweight belt as well as an outing for Belfast’s Paddy Barnes (3-0, no KOs). Frampton, Tete and Barnes’s opponents will be announced in due course.
“It's great to be back in Belfast,” stated Frampton when speaking to the assembled press. “I'm looking forward to repaying the fans for showing their support in me. We're still looking at opponents. I'm looking at getting the big boys next year.”
He also confirmed that Warren has pledged to secure his a dream outing at the city’s Windsor Park at some point, saying it has: “Always been a dream of mine”.
“Paddy is one of my best mates and Jamie has been involved in some of the most exciting fights I've seen,” he added.
“This is my favourite city in the world. Hopefully with the help of everyone involved, we can show what Belfast is about. Leo Santa Cruz is the fight I really want, I've got a score to settle. I believe I've got another world title in me at this weight, but becoming a three-weight World Champ is also an ambition of mine.”
“I've always appreciated what a talented fighter Carl Frampton is,” stated Moore, who has vowed to bring the best out of his new charge. “I believe you'll see the best Carl Frampton. I know what the Belfast fans are like, but apparently it's going to be another level this time.”
Jamie Conlan was also delighted with news of his fight, the contender vowed to deliver the world title to his fans. “I've seen Jerwin Ancajas up close and personal—I really rate him. It's a fight I believe I can win. It's very hard to describe the atmosphere (in Belfast). To be part of an exciting fight is something I'm looking forward to.”
“It's a brilliant spectacle,” concurred Barnes. “It's an honour to fight on a double world title undercard.”
More to follow.
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