Frampton set to make title defence in Belfast

A spring world-title date for Carl Frampton against American Chris Avalos could lead to a summer showdown against English rival Scott Quigg.

Frampton looks likely to make the first defence of his IBF super-bantamweight world championship at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena in February, although promotional issues have still yet to be finalised.

Promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping to stage both events but the Matchroom Sports chief has yet to agree terms with the champion’s manager, Barry McGuigan, and the pair have a notoriously hostile relationship.

While Frampton is due to fight Avalos, the mandatory challenger for the IBF title, Hearn is representing the American.

Hearn is seemingly using his deal with Avalos to force through a superfight between and Scott Quigg and Frampton next summer — should the Belfast world champion defeat Avalos.

“If we can’t agree terms, it will go to purse bids,” said Hearn on dealing with McGuigan for a Frampton-Avalos spring date. “If I won the purse bids, I’d definitely do a show in Belfast.” Purse bids are used to finalise the promotional set-up for a title fight when the governing body involved (in this case the IBF) grant rights to the highest bidder, and Hearn is confident that could play in his favour.

“It’s not just about being a deviant,” added the Matchroom promoter on his involvement with Avalos. “It’s about making Quigg-Frampton.”

Meanwhile, Hearn name-checked Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan as a potential headliner for future shows in Dublin after the Corkman’s one-round knockout win over Anthony Fitzgerald last Saturday.

The Matchroom promoter admitted that he could struggle to find a headline Irish attraction for a 2015 show after Matthew Macklin’s shock defeat to Jorge Sebastian Heiland.

“Spike O’Sullivan is definitely in the mix in the middleweight division,” said Hearn. ‘You always need the headliner to hold a show and at the moment Matthew, whatever he decides to do, probably isn’t [it], unless he’s in a really big fight.”!


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