On Saturday in Manchester, England, IBF super bantamweight champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton (22-0, 14 KOs) added the WBA belt to his collection when he won a split decision over Scott Quigg. Frampton wasted no time calling out his next two potential opponents.
The WBA had previously mandated that the winner of the Frampton-Quigg bout would have to face Guillermo Rigondeaux—provided the latter takes care of James Dickens on March 12.
While Frampton seems somewhat open to a fight with the skilled but lesser-known Cuban, he made sure to bring up the name of WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz as a possible foe as well.
“I’d be happy to fight him (Rigondeaux),” Frampton told iFL TV. “I’ve said it all along. We need to meet as a team to decide where we’ll go from here. There’s a potential fight with Santa Cruz at featherweight as well, which I could jump up to quite comfortably. There’s real options.”
Santa Cruz would be a logical opponent for Frampton sometime this summer. He stopped Kiko Martinez in the fifth round on Saturday and indicated he wanted to face Frampton as well.
Santa Cruz, who stopped Kiko Martinez Saturday night, would be a logical opponent for Frampton. He indicated he wanted to face Frampton as well.
There’s also some talk of a rematch with Quigg. The fight was light on action, but it was a close decision. Quigg suffered a broken jaw in the fourth round and believes the result might be different were it not for the injury. Frampton and Quigg are both hugely popular in the United Kingdom, so it wouldn’t be too difficult to drum up a campaign for a rematch.
A bout with Santa Cruz seems like a winnable affair for Frampton, but there’s no way of knowing how well he’ll take a punch from a featherweight until he’s felt the blow.
Because of Santa Cruz’s come-forward style, it would seem a bout with Frampton would almost certainly be more fan friendly than the fight we saw last weekend.
Some believe Frampton is avoiding Rigondeaux. The 35-year-old from Santiago de Cuba—whose nickname El Chacal translates to The Jackal—is a high-risk, lower-monetary reward opponent. He may be one of the three or four best fighters in the world, but because his style is sometimes viewed as less-than-thrilling, he hasn’t gained a huge following.
Thus, Frampton and other top-level fighters know they are going into a fight against a world-class opponent, but they may not make as much money for their efforts.
With the 29-year-old Frampton smack dab in the prime of his career, don’t expect an announcement about his future plans to be delayed for too long. Now is the time for him to maximize the opportunity to become a superstar in the sport. He’ll accomplish that if he takes and wins fights against top competition.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.