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Frampton finally lands shot to become first ever three-weight world champion from these shores

‘There is nobody stopping me from becoming the island of Ireland’s only ever three-weight world champ,’ said the Belfast sporting icon.

Carl Frampton in action against Tyler McCreary in November of 2019.
Carl Frampton in action against Tyler McCreary in November of 2019.
Image: Stevie English/INPHO

CARL FRAMPTON WILL bid to become the first ever boxer from the island of Ireland to win a world title in three different weight classes when he finally faces American WBO super-featherweight world champion Jamel Herring on 27 February, live on BT Sport from a behind-closed-doors venue in the UK.

The Belfast man [28-2, 16KOs] previously won two world titles at super-bantamweight (122 lbs) and one at featherweight (126), and will challenge popular former US marine force member Herring [22-2, 10KOs] for global honours at 130 after the bones of a year during which Covid-19 regularly botched Frank Warren and Top Rank’s plans for the scrap to take place.

Frampton, 33, recently settled a multi-million-pound legal battle with his former manager-promoter Barry McGuigan out of court, describing himself as “extremely happy” with the outcome. Having carried the weight of that dispute on his shoulders for over three years, Frampton is now comparably freed for one last shot at Irish and UK-boxing history against an opponent with whom he has cultivated an extremely friendly rivalry from across the Atlantic.

“I’m delighted to finally get a date nailed down for this fight that has now been talked about for over a year,” Frampton said upon its confirmation by relevant stakeholders on Tuesday evening.

“I have the utmost respect for Jamel as a fighter and as a man but there is nobody stopping me from becoming the island of Ireland’s only ever three-weight world champ, one of Britain’s only ever three-weight world champions, and potentially having one foot in the [International Boxing] Hall of Fame.”

Champion Herring, a native of New York State, said: “I’m really excited that the fight is finally happening. More importantly, it’ll be an honour 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.”

Frampton, who holds victories over British, European and international greats such as Scott Quigg, Kiko Martinez (x2), Nonito Donaire and Leo Santa Cruz, suffered a second defeat as a professional during his last world-title fight, producing a below-par performance in a still-electrifying scrap with England’s featherweight champion Josh Warrington in December of 2018.

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Due to a combination of freak injuries, court dates against McGuigan and the pandemic, he has fought just twice since, impressing in a super-featherweight contest versus unseasoned but unbeaten American Tyler McCreary in November 2019 and stopping Englishman Darren Traynor in a thrown-together stay-busy fight last August.

Herring is in a similar boat having made just two defences of his title since upsetting Masayuki Ito to achieve his boxing dream more than 18 months ago.

The American will possess a five-inch height advantage and 10-inch reach advantage over the naturally lighter ‘Jackal’ when they finally meet in the middle.

Frampton’s Uk 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.”

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