By Shaun Brown
BoxingScene.com understands that Josh Warrington’s first defence of his IBF Featherweight title could be announced at a press conference next week.
Warrington’s opponent will be Carl Frampton who will be looking to become a two-time world champion at 126lbs. ‘The Jackal’ won the WBA title against Leo Santa Cruz in July 2016 before losing the belt in the rematch, his first defence, six months later.
A date and venue are not confirmed but we believe that the fight will go ahead at the Manchester Arena in late December and will be shown live on BT Sports pay-per-view channel. The stumbling block appears to be the date as the powers that be are looking to avoid two BT pay-per-views so close together with Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury going ahead sometime in November or December.
Warrington and Frampton looked to be given the green light after the latter’s win over Luke Jackson on August 18 at Windsor Park, Belfast in front of 25,000 fans. Promoter Frank Warren declared the fight was on, but it appeared afterwards that Frampton had not put pen to paper.
The Manchester Arena will represent Frampton’s second high profile all-British world title fight after defeating Scott Quigg in a super bantamweight unification in February 2016. A fiery build up was met with something of a damp squib of a fight, but it seems impossible to think that Warrington vs. Frampton will be anything other than a 2018 fight of the year.
Warrington is riding the crest of a wave after his dominating win over Lee Selby back in May to take the Welshman’s IBF title. Since then Warrington has been here, there and everywhere enjoying his time as champion but now he will get back to business in an even bigger fight, and a defining one, for the ‘Leeds Warrior’ on a night where Belfast, Leeds and Manchester will come together to produce an incredible atmosphere and hopefully a fight to remember.