Step up: Carl Frampton targeting history vs. Jamel Herring this weekend

Carl Frampton (28-2, 16 KOs) weighed 129.9 pounds, as half of his attempt to become Ireland’s first-ever three-division champion is done. The other half will be on Saturday night in the ring against WBO title-holder Jamel Herring (22-2, 10 KOs), who makes the third defence of his belt.

Herring again puts his title on the line

Both Frampton (129.9 pounds) and defending champion Herring (129.4 pounds) successfully made weight ahead of their frequently-postponed super-featherweight title bout, which will finally take place on Saturday night (BST) from Caesars Palace in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

After the pandemic cancelled scheduled plans for last June in Northern Ireland, three additional dates came and went without success as the pair had tune-up fights to stave off inactivity.

Herring won via disqualification after eight rounds last September against Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Oquendo, following repeated headbutts.

In this handout image provided by Top Rank, Jamel Herring celebrates defeating Jonathan Oquendo during a Jr. Lightweight WBO World Title bout at MGM...
Herring (centre) with his hand raised in last year’s tune-up bout against Oquendo

Herring has publicly praised the work WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford has done, in helping to turn him into a better fighter ahead of his latest title defence.

Having become training partners under head coach Brian McIntyre’s guidance in recent years, the 35-year-old said that sparring with a physically stronger athlete and generally being in Crawford’s company has helped allow him to remain focused ahead of another big fight.

“He is like another trainer to me, because he is not there to be buddies in the gym – when we leave we can be brothers, laugh and joke, but he’s there to really push me.

Bud has been at my side for all of my fights since we were training together, making sure I don’t slack – it’s great to have a guy like that walking beside you, pushing you along the same track. He has no worries for me, watching over me and I am well prepared.”

after considering retirement, Frampton targeting history

Manchester , United Kingdom - 22 December 2018; Josh Warrington, left, in action against Carl Frampton during their IBF World Featherweight title...
Frampton in action against Warrington three years ago – his last truly tough opponent

On reconsidering the decision to retire after losing to Warrington three years ago, Frampton admitted he underestimated the Leeds-born champion saying:

“I thought I was a retired fighter and that was it, but who would have thought sitting in the changing room after, that I’d be on the verge of fighting for a world title in the third division and Josh would’ve lost to an unheard-of Mexican? It’s a strange game, is boxing.

I underestimated him and his punching power – it was going to be difficult but I didn’t think he could hurt me.

A very bad performance, but I knew there was a lot more left, once I thought about it rationally. It was under-par, rather than over the hill. I’m going to prove that on Saturday.”

Frampton earned his first knockout win for two years, easing past Darren Traynor with a seventh-round TKO finish at York Hall the month beforehand. The Jackal turned 34 in February, while Herring is 35 – the timing feels fitting for two top boxers looking to cement their legacy.

Frampton beat Spain’s Kiko Martinez to win the IBF super-bantamweight title in September 2014, before moving up to featherweight and earning a majority decision against Mexico’s Leo Santa Cruz two years later.

He lost the rematch on the judges’ scorecards in January 2017, strung three more wins together while winning a WBO interim featherweight strap before losing to then-unbeaten IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington via UD on the week before Christmas in 2018.

Shakur Stevenson celebrates after defeating Toka Kahn-Clary at the MGM Grand Conference Center on December 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Stevenson beat Toka Kahn-Clary in December and is Herring’s WBO mandatory challenger

Frampton is already looking forward to possibly fighting Top Rank’s American talent Shakur Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs) next should he prevail here, as the 23-year-old is the WBO’s mandatory challenger for Herring’s title and tentatively will return on June 12 vs. an unnamed opponent.

“He’s the mandatory, so that has to be the fight next. It’s a very, very difficult fight – he’s someone who I rate immensely, an amazing fighter.”

Picture source: Getty Images — quotes via BoxingScene

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