WBA and IBF 122-pound champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton (22-0, 14 KOs) has a retirement plan. Whether he’ll be able to stick to it is a different story. Frampton told the Belfast Telegraph that he believes he’s at his peak and that he can’t see himself staying in the sport “too long.”
How long is “too long?”
According to Frampton, he probably has a “maximum” of 10 fights left in his career. He estimates “probably three-and-a-half-years” are left before he retires. He would like to hang up the gloves by 33.
Anyone who has followed boxing for more than a few years knows Frampton isn’t the first fighter to have planned an early exit from the sport. Very few are able to make good on such ambitious plans.
Frampton, who just turned 29 on February 21, scored a split-decision win over Scott Quigg on February 27. In that bout, he captured the WBA crown. The previously undefeated Quigg was rightfully seen as the biggest challenge of the Irishmen’s career.
Frampton isn’t taking a break in his next fight. He’ll be going up in weight to take on WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz in a long-awaited fight that has boxing fans buzzing. Santa Cruz is not only undefeated at 32-0-1 with 18 KOs, he’s also a naturally bigger man with proven punching power. On the same day Frampton got by Quigg, Santa Cruz stopped former Frampton foe Kiko Martinez in the fifth round.
With Frampton taking on such dangerous opponents, it seems clear he’s looking to make the most of the time he has left in boxing. Things have a way of going wrong in fighters’ careers. Frampton has never tasted defeat as a pro. If he is handed his first pro loss, it could change his perspective.
The fight with Santa Cruz doesn’t have a specific date, but according to Showtime, the fight is scheduled to take place in “late summer.” A bout with Guillermo Rigondeaux could be awaiting the winner of Frampton vs. Santa Cruz. That would be an extremely difficult assignment for either man.
If Frampton chooses to stay at featherweight, potential fights with Lee Selby, Jesus Cuellar, Gary Russell Jr. and Vasyl Lomachenko could be intriguing opponents.
Needless to say, the prospects for a great run are there for Frampton. Can he walk the walk and execute his plan? We shall see.
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.