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Carl Frampton will be ready to reclaim his world title in March

Carl Frampton says he could fight Leo Santa Cruz for a third time next March
Andy Watters

CARL Frampton wants a summer 2018 spectacular at Windsor Park, but he says he'll be ready to reclaim his world title by March next year.

‘The Jackal', who returns to the ring on November 18 in a 10-round comeback against Horacio Garcia at the SSE Arena, hasn't fought since he lost his WBA featherweight title to Leo Santa Cruz in January.

In a turbulent nine months since then, he has split with long-term management team Cyclone Promotions, linked up with Matt Macklin's MTK stable and is now training in Manchester under the astute eye of Jamie Moore.

Frampton beat Santa Cruz in Brooklyn, New York last year before 'El Terremoto' turned the tables in Vegas and he doesn't rule out a third, defining rumble with the Mexican star.

“It could be Santa Cruz, who knows?” said Frampton, Ireland's second two-weight world champion.

“I'll try to take it one step at a time and see what develops after the Garcia fight. But I'll be ready to fight for a world title after the November fight.”

Frampton has described 2017 as “a disaster” and he intends to finish it on a high by beating Garcia on the star-studded double world title bill on November 18.

The pick of a packed undercard sees Belfast super-flyweight Jamie Conlan take on IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas, while possible Ryan Burnett target Zolani Tete defends his WBO bantamweight title against Siboniso Gonya. The bill also features Paddy Barnes, Tommy McCarthy, Steven Ward and Lewis Crocker.

Looking ahead to next summer, Frampton is targeting a rumble with the winner of a potential battle of Britain clash between IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby and WBC International titlist Josh Warrington.

“Selby and Josh Warrington will probably fight now,” said Frampton.

“I'm pretty confident that Selby will beat him and they're talking about fighting in March or April and I'm happy to fight the winner in the summer, but I'd like a fight in between as well so I'll fight in March.

“I don't know who against yet but I'd love a fight with Santa Cruz, there are loads and loads of options. The doors have opened with BT and, with the money they are pumping into the sport, there's more of a chance of the big guys coming to Belfast to fight me, rather than me having to travel.”

Meanwhile, former coach Shane McGuigan has confirmed that his summer split with Frampton “wasn't amicable”.

“I haven't spoken to Carl Frampton and he hasn't called me,” said McGuigan.

“I spent seven years of my life working with him. He was a groomsman at my wedding and he didn't have the decency to pick up the phone.”

Frampton split with the Cyclone camp after his August comeback fight against Andres Guttierez was scrapped owing to the injuries the Mexican sustained after a fall in his hotel bathroom.

“It didn't end amicably,” McGuigan added on the Toe-to-toe podcast.

“I did my best for him and we did some amazing things and I'll always keep them as fond memories. I wish him all the best with his new team, with Jamie Moore and I hope they can go on to repeat some success.”

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