Windsor showdown for Frampton to spark ticket scramble

Carl Frampton catches Nonito Donaire during Saturday night's showdown at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Picture by PA
Andy Watters at the SSE Arena

A SCRAMBLE for tickets is certain after Frank Warren confirmed that Carl Frampton’s next fight will be a world title spectacular at Windsor Park in August.

The Irish News understands that Saturday, August 18 is the preferred date for ‘the Jackal’ to take centre stage at the home of the Northern Ireland soccer team.

Speaking after Frampton’s boxing masterclass win over Nonito Donaire on Saturday night, promoter Warren (right) explained that Windsor Park will accommodate a crowd of 23-25,000 for the August rumble.

Queensbury Promotions boss Warren, who has overseen massive stadium events in the UK and beyond, would prefer a venue that would seat nearer 50,000, but Frampton – who won the interim WBO featherweight title on Saturday night – wants Windsor and that’s what he is going to get.

“This man did the business, he’s got himself into a great position now, being the WBO champion,” said the Londoner.

“We’re now doing a show at Windsor Park to deliver this man’s dream and my dream as well because it’s a pleasure to be working with him, he’s a tremendous professional and I’m really looking forward to the show at Windsor and bringing the belt back here.

” He added: “I thought Donaire would bring the best out of Carl. “I believed that you would see the best of Carl and it would set him up for a bigger fight in the summer.

I think we’ll get about 23-25,000 into Windsor, it’s a big event and I wish you had a 50,000-seat stadium [in Belfast] because we could knock that out easily.” The three men in the running to face Frampton at the Donegall Avenue venue are Josh Warrington (also promoted by Warren), Lee Selby (the IBF champion) and California-based Mexican Oscar Valdez (the WBO belt holder).

“We’ve got Josh Warrington and Lee Selby on May 19 at Leeds United and the winner of that is one option,” said Warren.

“The other depends on what the WBO do. They may order Valdez to make his mandatory defence against Carl so we’ll see how it goes.

All we do know is, it’s August, that’s when Carl will get his dream to fight at Windsor Park.

“It’ll have to be a big fight because it’s a big arena and one thing about this fella is he doesn’t ask for easy jobs, does he?”

Warren paid tribute to the Belfast boxing faithful who showed enormous respect to both fighters on Saturday night and lived every moment of a contest that reached an enthralling boil with a late fightback from Donaire.

“We’ve done really well between us all to get boxing going in Belfast and the catalyst has been Carl,” he said.

We’ve done a couple of shows now and we’ve got Mick Conlan’s professional debut on the 30th of June.

“We’re not doing badly, but you know why it’s happening? It’s because you’ve got the best fans. The fans are unbelievable. They’re appreciative. Donaire was the opposition and if that fight had been in England he’d have been getting booed to high heaven, but here they appreciate good fighters and that’s why it’s a pleasure to be here. “They’re a knowledgeable boxing crowd.”

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