Carl Frampton to face big-punching Mexican Emmanuel Dominguez

Josh Warrington (right) and Carl Frampton in action in the World Featherweight Championship at Manchester Arena in December
Andy Watters

CARL Frampton will face big-punching Mexican Emmanuel Dominguez in his comeback fight in Philadelphia on August 10.

Frampton and 25-year-old Dominguez (26-8-2 with 18 stoppage wins) will go head-to-head over 10 rounds at the Liacouras Center, the scene of Jono Carroll’s IBF super-featherweight rumble with Tevin Farmer on St Patrick’s weekend.

‘The Jackal’ hasn’t fought since December 22 when he narrowly lost a titanic battle for the IBF featherweight title against England’s Josh Warrington and with a match-up against WBO champion Oscar Valdez already in the pipeline, he knows he has to win, and win convincingly in ‘The City of Brotherly Love’ next month.

“Dominguez is a tall, young, hungry featherweight, so I’ll need to be on my game,” he said.

“The chance of an Oscar Valdez fight is dangling in front of me, so I want to go out and show the world that I’ve still got what it takes to be a world champion.

“Winning is always the most important thing, but I want to do it in style. It’s great to be boxing Stateside again. And Philly, in particular, has so much boxing history.

“I’d like to thank MTK Global and Top Rank for giving me the opportunity. I won’t disappoint.”

Former Mexican super-bantamweight champion Dominguez was stopped by Jordan Gill in a WBA International Featherweight title scrap at Peterborough in March and has a decent record but nothing more than that.

Frampton should be a clear winner in the fight. However, his own record has proved that you cannot take any Mexican – and certainly not a 35-fight veteran like Dominguez – lightly.

In the past Frampton has tangled with five Mexican fighters over six fights including two with Leo Santa Cruz. His first two opponents, Raul Hirales and Hugo Cazares, produced relatively comfortable wins and he travelled to El Paso, Texas to defend his IBF super-bantamweight title against Alejandro Gonzalez junior fully confident of another straightforward victory.

But Frampton, who admitted afterwards that he’d had serious issues making the weight, was put down for the first time in his career in the opener and again before the bell ended a dramatic round. He recovered to win clearly on points and boxed just once more at super-bantamweight before moving up to featherweight and becoming only the second two-weight world champion in Ireland when he took the WBA belt from Michoacán native Leo Santa Cruz in a thriller at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

He returned to the USA to defend the title in a rematch against ‘El Terremoto’ at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas in January 2017.

Frampton was unable to find the sparkle he had shown in New York and the fight, his most recent in the US, ended in a points defeat. He was unable to secure a third meeting with Santa Cruz and, as his relationship with Barry McGuigan and former handlers Cyclone Promotions disintegrated, his eagerly-awaited comeback fight with another Mexican - Andres Gutierrez – was called off after Frampton, who had weighed in over-weight earlier that day – on the eve of the fight.

After parting company with Shane McGuigan, Frampton announced that Manchester-based Jamie Moore would look after his training and he returned in November 2017 against the unheralded Horacio Garcia.

Looking rusty, Frampton had success early on and he took an unconvincing points win after the game Garcia dropped him late on.

Wins over Nonito Donaire and Luke Jackson followed and despite December’s loss to Warrington, the Jackal has recovered some of the ground he lost in the turbulence that followed the Santa Cruz defeat. Now one Mexican (Dominguez) stands in the way of a date with another, Valdez, before Christmas. Frampton has to win, and win well, in Philadelphia to make that happen.

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