Boxing

Carl Frampton recovery on track as Jamel Herring battle looms for the summer

Back with a bang: Carl Frampton lands a left hook to the body of Tyler McCreery in Las Vegas in November. Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Andy Watters

A MONTH after undergoing surgery on his hands, Carl Frampton is already well down the road to recovery and hopes to be fit to start throwing his hands again in three weeks.

Frampton broke both hands in his shut-out comeback win against Tyler McCreary in Las Vegas in November but he will have fully recovered to fight this summer and a June date against WBO super-featherweight champion Jamel Herring is looking increasingly likely.

“It’s a month since I got the hands done and they’re going the right way,” Frampton told The Irish News.

“I feel like I’m probably only three weeks’ away from punching. A week ago I wouldn’t have been able to shake your hand but I’m in much better condition now. They’re going the right way.”

The Jackal has made it clear that he would be ready to take on WBO super-featherweight king Herring in May but Saturday, June 13 at the SSE Arena is now looking the most likely date for his blockbuster battle with New Yorker ‘Semper Fi’.

Frampton will become Ireland’s first-ever three-weight world champion with victory over former US Marine Herring and it is understood that the eagerly-awaited fight is close to being signed for this summer.

Meanwhile, Camlough middleweight Fergus Quinn will sign as a professional with MTK this week. Quinn, a former Ulster Elite champion who has represented Queen’s University and Armagh minors in Gaelic football, follows Belfast’s Paul McCullagh junior into the professional ranks.

Also a former Ulster Elite champion, light-heavyweight McCullough will be trained by John O’Brien and managed by the experienced Dave Coldwell. He is eager to hit the ground running in this year.

“I grew up idolising Ricky Hatton,” he said.

“I loved his style and it’s inspired me to fight with heart, determination and be a ruthless knockout fighter but also a slick boxer.

“I’m looking to kick off my professional career with as many early knockouts as possible and hope to be fighting up to eight times in 2020.”

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TOP Rank supremo Bob Arum has already pledged to deliver Michael Conlan a world title shot this year.

The iconic promoter was ringside at the packed, purpose-built arena in Falls Park last summer and he spoke highly of Conlan’s character and skill set before cheering him to victory over Vladimir Nikitin at Madison Square Garden last month.

“Bob has been saying that we’ll have St Patrick’s Day and then possibly a world title fight in the Park,” said Conlan.

“That would be a dream come true and that’s how I see the year playing out and I’m looking forward to that because it’s something that dreams are made of. I never thought I’d be fighting in the Falls Park but now that I’ve done it the dream has changed and I could be fighting for a world title there. That would be a really special kind of feeling.”

Nikitin was scheduled to be Conlan’s opponent at Falls Park last August but an injury to the Russian meant the fight was postponed until December. Conlan, who had lost twice to Nikitin as an amateur, was the clear winner in the Big Apple.

“I’m delighted with how it went,” he said.

“I won very comfortably and I beat someone who is a very experienced fighter with a lot of pedigree. The fact that I was able to go in there and handle him with ease and do things and work on things was very good.

“When I wanted to fight him, I was a better fighter than him and when I wanted to box him I was a better boxer than him. I showed as well, when he landed a few shots, that I can take a shot as well. That’s not a question that needs to be asked now.

“I’m very happy with how it played out.”

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DONEGAL super-middleweight Jason Quigley continues his push for a title breakthrough when he takes on experienced Mexican Oscar Cortes (27-5) at The Hangar in Costa Mesa, California on Thursday night.

The (17-1) Ballybofey native, now trained by Andy Lee, goes into the fight on the back of a third round stoppage win against Abraham Cordero at the same venue on December 5.

“I want to build momentum,” Quigley said.

“I fought at the start of December got a good win and now I’m straight back in. That’s exactly what I want and exactly what I need.

“It’s all about momentum now. I need to get in again, keep it fresh and get out of there ASAP to keep the ball rolling.”

Cortes (26) was stopped in the second round by Kamil Szeremeta, who is now set to face IBF middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin in Madison Square Garden. It’s a good test for Quigley who intends to make waves at super-middleweight this year.

“It’s an exciting time,” he said.

“What’s important now in 2020 is driving on and achieving what I want to achieve.

“My aim and my goal is to become the world champion. I’ve seen it in training and I’ve felt it myself, there is a change there and click of things back in place again. I’m excited for what’s to come.”

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JONO Carroll says he won’t let Scott Quigg beat him no matter what the Bury fighter brings to their super-featherweight battle at Manchester Arena on Saturday March 7.

Quigg, who lost his WBA super-bantamweight title to Carl Frampton on an unforgettable night at the Manchester venue back in 2016, has been out of action for the last 16 months but returns determined to force his way back into the world title mix.

However, Carroll, a game loser when he challenged Tevin Farmer for the IBF super-featherweight belt in March last year, has no intention of letting Quigg get past him.

“Now it’s time for the next step,” said the Dubliner.

“I know my worth as a person and as a boxer.

“I won’t let Quigg beat me no matter what type of fight it has to be. I’m good at adapting so I will see what he’s good at and then take that away from him.”

Quigg (35-2-2) made five defences of his WBA belt before losing to Frampton in that unification battle almost four years ago. Since then he was outpointed by Oscar Valdez in a challenge for the Mexican’s WBO Featherweight title and has now stepped up to super-feather.

“I’m looking forward to getting in there and taking him apart and showing that despite being out the ring for over a year and the injury, there is still a lot left in the tank,” said Quigg.

“I’ve got everything fully focussed on March 7 to put in a career best performance.

“It’s great to be back fighting and headlining at Manchester Arena again and for my supporters to be able to see me back fighting on UK soil. It’s a great platform for me to launch my career forward again and get my name back in the mix for a world title shot.”

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Boxing