Carl Frampton is a knockout as he defeats Chris Avalos

DOWN AND OUT: Carl Frampton knocks down Chris Avalos during their IBF Super-Bantamweight World Title fight at Odyssey Arena, Belfast. Picture: Ramsey Cardy

The IBF super-bantamweight champion successfully defended his world title on Saturday night, stopping 25-year-old Californian challenger Chris Avalos (25-3) in the fifth round to extend his undefeated record to 20-0 (14 knockouts).

While a 9,000-plus capacity crowd at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena provided the raucous atmosphere which has become a feature of Frampton fight nights, the champion now seems likely to travel for his next defence.

And no matter where the destination for his next fight is, the 28-year-old Jackal will prowl any ring with the same killer instinct, according to his trainer, Shane McGuigan.

“The guy performs every day like that in the gym,” said McGuigan Jr, son of former world champion Barry. “As soon as there’s over 20 people watching him, he just performs – all we need is 20 people and he’ll perform!”

The fight marked the return of world-championship boxing to terrestrial television and Team Frampton now have their sights set on ensuring the champion becomes a household name beyond Belfast and Ireland.

“I think it’s time for us to go over to England, all the fans want to travel,” said Barry McGuigan. “There’s every chance we could go down south (of Ireland), but the reality is if we’re going with ITV, our audience is in England, or the UK. That’s where it would be nice to do the Quigg fight.”

While fights against fellow world champions Leo Santa Cruz and Guillermo Rigondeaux remain an option for Frampton, a showdown with British rival Scott Quigg looks to be the most attractive option in terms of attracting a big audience – both on the box and in terms of bums on seats. A fight between the pair has been talked about for over three years, but promotional issues have been a stumbling block as McGuigan has locked horns with Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn, Frampton’s former promoter who has ties with Sky Sports and now represents Quigg.

“We really believe there is a future to be had with ITV,” said McGuigan. “I think we can have the fight with Quigg on ITV… I understand he is not on a deal with Sky, so the deal can be done. Let’s do a Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn thing with this one — this fight could make super-stars out of these kids.”

Frampton is keen to silence Quigg’s claims that he would emerge victorious from a meeting between them, just as the Belfast man did with Avalos’ wild talk in advance of Saturday’s bout. The 25-year-old challenger had branded Frampton a ‘fairy’ in the build-up to the fight, claiming the champion runs away from opponents – and the champion revealed the challenger was still throwing insults while being pummelled before the stoppage.

The only running Frampton did was in pursuit of Avalos after landing a huge right hand midway through the fifth round, the challenger then coming under two separate barrages before referee Howard Foster sensibly called a halt, with Avalos treated with an oxygen mask after the stoppage.

“He (Avalos) called me a ‘bitch’ or a ‘pussy’ in the second or third and at the start of the fight he said ‘there’s only me and you now, boy!’ and he was still talking when he was going — I don’t know what he was saying, but he was trying to say something,” said Frampton.


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