Carl Frampton intends to shine in Windsor Park rumble with real life 'Rocky' Luke Jackson
HE may not have the world title fight against the household name he wanted, but Carl Frampton intends to light up Windsor Park on August 18.
‘The Jackal’ says intends to “do a job” on opponent Luke Jackson and make it a night to remember for his fans.
“I respect every opponent, especially one who’s willing to come to Windsor Park to fight me,” said Frampton.
“I’ll be ready for this fight. I’ll need to be in the shape of my life. There’s bigger fights on the horizon but I can’t overlook Luke Jackson. I need to be in the shape of my life and do a job on him.
“I think Windsor Park deserves to see me put on a top quality performance, that’s what this stadium deserves and I think it’s going to be a quality night.”
Frampton’s promoter Frank Warren warned that “anything can happen in boxing” as he introduced Jackson to Belfast fight fans yesterday.
Jackson was brought in after approaches to Oscar Valdez and other fighters failed. Former Frampton opponent Scott Quigg was considered but wanted too much money but Australian ‘Action Jackson’ jumped at the chance when he was offered the fight and Warren is wary of the unbeaten Tasmanian.
“We tried very hard to get the fight done with Oscar Valdez but unfortunately Valdez isn’t available,” said veteran promoter Warren.
“He is still unfit and hasn’t been declared ready to box yet. We’re not in a position yet – because he has time under the WBO rules – for Carl to be declared champion.
“It has been a bit frustrating. There were other fighters that we talked to and tried to get over here. A lot of them weren’t available but one whose name keeps coming up is Scott Quigg but the money he was asking for made it impossible to do the fight.
“So we’ve brought over Luke. He was the Australian captain and he’s a big mate of Jeff Horn. There have been a few upsets already this year like Truax and James DeGale, Horn and Pacquaio and Rosales and Higo and some people thought Josh Warrington beating Lee Selby was an upset.
“So anything can happen in boxing.
“Carl came back to boxing against Horacio Garcia and it was a much tougher fight than people were expecting. Anybody who goes to fight for a world title whose got anything about them comes to fight and I’m sure Luke will do that.
“But I believe in Carl and I’m hoping he will come through this so he can set the Warrington fight up. If he comes through, and I’m sure he’ll come through, that will be the next fight. Whether Valdez is around or not, he will be fighting Josh Warrington but we have to get through this.”
REAL life ‘Rocky’ Luke Jackson admitted he was struggling to come to terms with what was happening to him after he was plucked from obscurity to face Carl Frampton in the Windsor Park spectacular on August 18.
Unbeaten, but unknown Australian Jackson (16-0 with seven knock-outs) is the WBO’s Oceanic and Oriental champion and those titles gave him his number five ranking with the WBO that secured him the fight after several others had turned it down.
Jackson says he intends to “out-think” ‘the Jackal’ and cause a massive upset in Belfast.
“It’s surreal,” admitted the Tasmanian.
“Tyson Fury on my undercard? I’m a little kid from Clarendon who was thrown in and out of welfare as a kid and now I’m here and I’m fighting on the biggest stage.
“I’m very proud of myself and I’m proud of my team for getting me this far and I’ll be coming over to take that belt back to Tasmania.”
The London Olympian was a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist in 2010 and insists he is “coming to win”.
“I can’t be overwhelmed. Nothing is too much for me, life is difficult for me but boxing is easy and I’m coming to win,” he said.
“Everyone is overlooking me, but I don’t think Carl Frampton will – he’s not that stupid. He knows boxing and he knows that it’s going to be tough.
“This is the opportunity of a lifeline. If I beat Carl Frampton I’m the one that everyone wants – I get paid. I want to get some money out of this game because I’ve been working my ass off for 16 years and in Australia it’s hard to get any money in boxing.
“We are at the pinnacle in Australia and to go further we have to come here and to be here and headline a show I’m proud. My whole team is coming to win and we’re going to get some money out of it too which makes it even better.”
Jackson may already have been written off in some quarters, but his manager Adam Wilcock – perhaps doing his best to promote his fighter - says he won’t view it as an upset if Jackson stuns Windsor Park on August 18.
“For us it won’t be an upset if Luke wins,” said Wilcock.
“Google Luke Jackson, look at his amateur career – he has beaten the best amateurs around the world for a long period of time. He fought in over 50 countries, had over 150 amateur fights and he has beaten the best in the world.
“Carl Frampton turned professional because he wasn’t able to take that next step as an amateur, Luke Jackson took that next step. He might be behind him slightly as a professional, but ability-wise he’s certainly not so it won’t be an upset for us on August the 18th. On August the 19th we’ll be sitting down for breakfast and we’ll have the belt in front of us.”
TYSON Fury returns to Belfast for the fourth time in his professional intending to recapture the form that saw him topple heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko and rein briefly as undisputed world champion.
Fury has boxed twice at the Odyssey Arena and once at the King’s Hall, winning all three against Nicolai Firtha, Martin Rogan and then Kevin Johnson.
His opponent has yet to be named but promoter Frank Warren insisted that he would be a step up from his recent facile victory over Sefer Seferi in Manchester earlier this month.
“Seferi was 24 wins and one loss on points but as soon as I clipped him a couple of times he didn’t want to know,” said Fury (26-0).
“It was disappointing to say the least for me because I trained for six months and I hoped he’d last a bit longer and it would be a bit better fight but it was what it was. I came out unscathed, I’m still good looking as ever, I’ve still got my senses and I’m here. Roll on Belfast, come on – let’s go.
“I hope this time I get someone who wants to have a fight with me and who’ll punch me in the face a couple of times, give me a busted nose and when I hit him back he won’t lie down. Get me an opponent and I’ll do the business.
“I was nearly three years out of the ring it was nearly a sell-out and all the pressure was on me. I was a bit nervous and I took a couple of rounds to get settled in. But once I got settled in, no problem.”
Fury is hoping for four fights this year as he targets a crack at current world champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
“I want to keep him busy,” said promoter Frank Warren.
“He has dipped his toe in the water but he has to submerge it next time. It’ll be a different type of opponent and we’re looking at a few. I want to see him get that rust off and I want to see him in against somebody who is going to get the best out of him at this stage of the game.”