Boxing

Carl Frampton aiming for late summer rumble at Windsor Park

Carl Frampton couldn't entice Leo Santa Cruz to Belfast to complete a trilogy

WINDSOR Park is the preferred venue and Saturday, July 29 is a possible date, but Carl Frampton didn't confirm either, or an opponent, for his eagerly awaited next fight yesterday.

“We're still waiting on word of a date and an opponent,” he told The Irish News yesterday.

“I've been saying for the last six weeks that I'll know something within the next few days but it's really been dragging on. It's frustrating but I'm hoping that something gets done soon.

“Windsor is my preferred venue but it depends on the opponent. We may have to go back because July 29 is getting a bit close now to release tickets. I can't say a lot because I don't know a lot.”

Frampton's last fight ended in a points loss - the first of his career – in a tense WBA featherweight rumble with Leo Santa Cruz in Las Vegas on January 28. He had become Ireland's second two-weight world champion when he beat the California-based Mexican in New York in July last year, but Santa Cruz has refused to come to Belfast for a third rumble.

“Santa Cruz isn't going to play ball, that's just the way that is,” said Frampton.

“It needs to be a credible opponent, I want it to be something meaningful. People can say: ‘You'll sell Windsor out no problem no matter what and no matter the opponent' but I don't know if that's true.”

He is in camp with coach Shane McGuigan at present and is working towards a fight around 11 weeks from now.

“I'm in decent shape and I've got the end of July/early August in my head as a date,” he said.

“If that has to get put back a bit I can go home for a couple of weeks and then come back into camp. The plan is to get three fights in this year so if we do end of July/early August it would give you the time to get another one in before Christmas but if you put it back any further than that then you might be struggling.

“I want a big fight, there's no point going backwards. The last few fights have been against good opposition and I want to continue that.”

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