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Frampton and Valdez to co-headline Vegas doubleheader ahead of potential showdown

‘The Jackal’ is back following an 11-month absence.

Carl Frampton (file pic).
Carl Frampton (file pic).
Image: Anthony Devlin

CARL FRAMPTON WILL return to the ring following almost a year outside of it on 30 November, when he’ll co-headline a Las Vegas bill with Top Rank rival and stablemate Oscar Valdez.

Both Frampton and Valdez will technically make their super-featherweight debuts against separate opposition ahead of a long-awaited potential clash between the pair, the twist being that Valdez will face an opponent arguably more familiar to Frampton and his supporters than his own faithful at The Cosmopolitan next month.

The Mexican [26-0, 20KOs] former featherweight champion squares off with compatriot Andres Gutierrez [38-2-1, 25KOs] in a 10-rounder at 130 pounds, the latter having infamously injured himself in a shower accident in Belfast on the eve of his scheduled fight with Frampton — which was subsequently cancelled — in July of 2017.

‘The Jackal’ [25-2, 15KOs] had another bout cancelled due to a freak accident earlier this year when a large ornament fell on his hand in a Philadelphia hotel, but will end an 11-month ring absence when he faces Ohio native Tyler McCreary [16-0-1, 7KOs] at a 128-pound catchweight.

“I’m delighted to be making a comeback after what has been a horrific year in my career,” Frampton said. “I didn’t get the Top Rank deal off to an ideal start, but coming back in Vegas is great for me, especially against a really strong opponent. It needed to be someone who would test me. It’s what I want, it’s what ESPN wants, what MTK Global wants and what Top Rank wants, so I’m 100% confident it’s the right move for me.

“McCreary is a quality opponent, but if I want to be competing against the top guys in the world, which I believe I can, then I need to be beating guys like him and doing it in style.”

“I’m delighted we’ve got Carl out again before the end of the year,” added Frank Warren, Frampton’s co-promoter in the UK. “He had a tough time of it in August with the freak injury, which meant he couldn’t fight as planned. In this fight against McCreary, I believe Carl will prove that he is still an elite fighter and will be fighting for world titles again before long.”

Said opponent McCreary, 26: “It’s a big step up for me but I feel that I’m ready for it. It’s an opportunity I couldn’t turn down, and I feel that every fight is a risk. This is one where, if anything, I would love to risk my undefeated record against a fighter like Frampton. A win here means a world title shot next.

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“I was in the gym training for my 26 October fight and my trainer [Lamar Wright] said we got a call that Carl Frampton was looking for a fight. They didn’t have anyone, and I said, ‘I’ll take it.’ I didn’t hesitate.”

“This a tremendous super featherweight doubleheader, and both Valdez and Frampton have their hands full against tough opponents,” said Top Rank chief Bob Arum. “If Valdez and Frampton win, world title opportunities await them in 2020.”

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