Boxing

Carl Frampton and Michael Conlan lining up for August ring returns

Carl Frampton: "The more I watch of him (Jamel Herring), the more I believe I can beat him."
Andy Watters

CARL Frampton and Michael Conlan could both return to action on a boxing bill broadcast live from the BT Sport studios in early August.

The Irish News understands that the world title-chasing Belfast fighters will have their first action of the year on the London show and could appear in New York before the end of this year.

Conlan hasn’t fought since December 2019, when he convincingly out-pointed Olympic nemesis Vladimir Nikitin at Madison Square Garden, while Frampton’s last contest was a points win over Tyler McCreary in Las Vegas in November.

The Jackal will intend to use his August return as a springboard towards his long-awaited face-off with WBO super-featherweight champion Jamel Herring, which could be staged at iconic New York venue Madison Square Garden later this year.

Since the match-up was first mentioned, Herring has consistently been open, enthusiastic even, to the possibility to defending his title against Frampton. The former US Marine would already have taken on Frampton in Belfast had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic and it seems that the lockdown has only postponed the fight which should deliver a thrilling clash of styles.

Herring is the bigger man with advantages in height and reach but Frampton brings a wealth of experience and is the better boxer.

“He’s still keen for the fight,” said Frampton.

“It makes sense for him – he sees me as a bigger name than anyone he’s fought up to date. He’s looking at me as a shorter guy, he’s much bigger than me and he’ll be thinking it’s a defence (of his title) for him against a decent name and he has all the advantages.

“It makes sense for him but I believe I can win this fight. I believe there are different ways to beat him and I’m up for it, I’m excited about it and the more I watch of him, the more I believe I can beat him.

“People look at our dimensions and they think that because he’s so tall and I’m short I have to get on his chest and have a fight with him but that’s not the case. I feel like there will be times when that may have to happen, when I have to stand and have a fight with him, but I also feel like I have better feet him when I use them, I have better hand speed as well and these are all things that can be exploited to my advantage.”

When Frampton does mix it, he needs to do so on his terms and deny the American – who has one stoppage win in his last 10 outings – the chance to dictate the tempo of the fight. Herring may not be a devastating hitter but, having watched how Josh Warrington jumped on Frampton almost from the first bell, he’s bound to look to test the former Holy Family ABC fighter early on.

“Tactically I’ll need to have a perfect fight,” said Frampton.

“It’s going to be difficult. I think his size and height and reach are obviously going to cause me problems. They won’t make things easier for me and it’s about figuring out a way to work around that and negate that so tactically I’ll need to be listening to instructions and obeying them, not just going out and having my own fight like I did against Josh Warrington.”

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Boxing