Boxing

Carl Frampton will target unification fights as James Tennyson vows to rebound from Farmer defeat

Carl Frampton will target a unification fight with one of the other featherweight champions after he deals with Josh Warrington
Andy Watters

CARL Frampton will go after a featherweight unification fight if he takes Josh Warrington’s IBF title in Manchester on December 22.

‘The Jackal’ isn’t going to be short of options – this week Scott Quigg and Kid Galahad (now the mandatory challenger for the IBF title after his win in Boston – have called him out but if he dethrones Warrington he’ll look for a crack at one of the division’s other champions – Leo Santa Cruz, Gary Russell jnr or Oscar Valdez.

“I want to be involved in big fights for the rest of my career and if I win a world title a unification fight supersedes a mandatory defence against Kid Galahad,” said Frampton who was in Boston last week to cheer on team-mate Tommy Coyle.

“They all want a few quid and it’s a big money fight for anyone in the division but after Warrington it’s got to be one of the champions to unify. The Kid’s not really in my plans.

“To be honest he’s not a big enough name to interest me. You talk about Luke Jackson and stuff but that’s not the level I want to be fighting at.

“Kid Galahad is a little bit above Jackson but I’m talking about unification fights with Santa Cruz and Valdez and Gary Russell jnr and then potentially stepping up to super-featherweight and tackling one of the champions there.

“We’ll see what happens, I’ll take it one fight at a time and I need to beat Warrington first and see what the next move is after that.

Warrington meets Frampton in the first defence of the title he took off long-term champion Lee Selby. Warrington’s win in Leeds has been hailed as evidence of his dramatic improvement but Frampton argues that the Yorkshireman should have stopped struggling Selby on the night.

“It’s a good fight. I think he’ll take a lot of confidence from the Selby win but two years ago would he have beat Selby? I don’t think so,” he said.

“Selby was dead at the weight and what I’m getting from that fight is: Why did he not stop Selby? Selby was knackered and he’s skipping super-featherweight and going right up to lightweight for his comeback which tells you a story in itself.

“He’ll have confidence from beating Selby but I’m getting confidence from it too. I think he should have stopped him. I believe I would have stopped him that night.”

Last week Frampton was training in New York with Coyle, Jamie Moore and Nigel Travis. He travelled to Boston last Thursday where he cheered on Coyle and the Irish fighters on the TD Garden card – James Tennyson, Katie Taylor, Niall Kennedy and Sean McComb.

“I’ve been working hard with the boys and it’s been good craic, it has broken up my camp a bit as well,” he said.

“It’s too early to start sparring yet. That’s something I’ve learned, I don’t need to spar as much as long as I stay sharp and in shape.

“Too much sparring can be detrimental at times so I only spar for about six weeks maximum. I’ve still got a good bit to go and I’m in good shape, I came into camp about 5lb lighter than what I normally do which is good, it’s a good starting position.

“My fitness levels are up, I did a bit of pre-camp testing in Manchester and they were very happy with where I was going into the camp. So the signs are good.”

JAMES Tennyson was on the flight back from Boston to Dublin yesterday. The IBF super-featherweight title belt wasn’t part of his luggage, but the 25-year-old from Poleglass intends to come back stronger after his loss to American Tevin Farmer on Saturday night.

Tennyson went into the IBF super-featherweight title rumble as the underdog and Farmer illustrated why he is so highly regarded with a slick display of movement, aggression and skill at the TD Garden.

Tennyson had some success in the fight but he was down in the fourth and Farmer was ahead on the scorecards of all three judges (one had only a point in it) when the referee waved the fight off midway through the fifth round. Tennyson’s coach Tony Dunlop argued afterwards that the fight should have been allowed to continue given that the Belfast man had battled back to win after an early knockdown in his previous contest and ‘the Assassin’ agreed.

“It was something special,” he said.

“It was a good experience for me, I’m 25 and I’ve fought for a world title in America. So it’s a dream come true and getting a decision would have topped it for me.

“It’s a memory that I have for life and it’s something I’m not going to forget in a hurry.

“I’m just disappointed I didn’t win.

“The referee didn’t give me a chance I think he was looking for a reason to stop it. From the second round he was coming over to the corner asking me: ‘Are you alright? Are you alright?’ and there was nothing wrong with me.

“I’ll come again.”

Farmer had only five stoppage wins (and four losses) on his card but he lived up to his billing as one of the most underrated fighters in the US. He has made no secret of his wish to fight Gervonta Davis and he called out ‘Tank’ after his win.

“He was better than I thought,” Tennyson admitted.

“He was a real good, classy, slippery operator. He was very good the way he was rolling off the shots and he boxed a good fight. Fair dues to him.”

While Farmer goes off to pursue Davis, Tennyson will take a break and is likely to return next February to defend his Commonwealth super-featherweight title with the Ulster Hall a possible venue.

“I’ll take a break and enjoy some food that I wasn’t allowed through camp,” he said.

“Then I’ll get back to camp and get down to business.

“It won’t put me off, definitely not, it’s just going to give me that urge and drive again. I’ve been here once so I’ll know what to do the next time.”

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