Even though Carl Frampton is now in the autumn of his career, it’s clear that the fire still burns inside him. ‘The Jackal’ has suffered a couple of disappointments in his career, namely title-fight defeats against Josh Warrington and Léo Santa Cruz, but now there is a new opportunity for glory, and a chance to make history by securing a third world title across three different weight classes when he takes on Jamel Herring for the WBO super-featherweight title next month.
That’s enough motivation for any bout, but for Frampton there is also the matter of his enduring legacy as he looks towards retirement. He recently admitted that signing off his career in the best way is certainly something that’s on his mind, and if he can overcome Herring in March, then he’ll seek one last fight at Windsor Park as a final farewell.
But the task at hand is one that requires full attention. Herring is an opponent who won’t go down lightly, and although the odds on the Frampton fight have the Northern Irishman as the slight favourite, it’s an extremely difficult match-up to call. The recent postponement of the fight as a result of Frampton injuring his hand has given him an even tougher task, and he’ll be hoping he can be at 100% fitness for when the fight is rearranged.
In terms of form, the American has the edge having won his last six fights over a span of three and a half years, while Frampton holds a more modest record of two successive victories since he lost out to Warrington with the IBF featherweight title on the line. Momentum can be crucial when it comes to a fight that could be called a toss-up, and Frampton will need to prove that he has put the Warrington loss well and truly behind him.
There is also the matter of Herring’s superior reach and height over Frampton, which could have an impact should the fight last the distance. The Jackal will be seeking an early stoppage to avoid Herring dominating the points if the fight ends up getting dragged out.
While those two aspects seem to point towards Herring, Frampton’s vast experience at the highest level can’t be underestimated. The Northern Irishman is a fighter that brings with him a lot of fanfare and publicity, and there’s no doubting that the upcoming bout will be one of the biggest of Herring’s career. Frampton will be hoping that the American’s nerves will get the better of him, and as a result, opportunities will open up to strike.
However, judging by his comments to the media, Herring is relishing the challenge, and is lamenting the fact that there will not be a boisterous UK crowd to witness the fight.
“It sucks that I can’t experience that European atmosphere, whether it was in Belfast or London,” Herring said. “I was a 2012 Olympian, so I did compete in London. I love fights here in the States, but there’s no better atmosphere for a huge fight than the UK or Ireland. That was always my goal.
“But things happen. It wasn’t Carl’s fault, it wasn’t my fault, we’re going through a pandemic, but I’m just grateful to still have the opportunity to get a big fight on my resume.”
It’s clear that Herring is looking forward to taking part in such a high-profile bout, and Frampton will need to be at the top of his game to get the win.
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