Carl Frampton: What’s Next For The Jackal?

Tom Dunstan
Tom Dunstan
Tom Dunstan
Contributor

In world boxing, it’s hard to think of any active fighter who has endured such a contrasting last couple of years more than Carl Frampton.

2016 could arguably be described as the best year of Frampton’s career. It all seemed to be going so well for ‘The Jackal’, he was coming off the back of a defining victory over Leo Santa Cruz that saw him become Northern Ireland’s first two weight world champion, he had just broken into boxing’s top 10 Pound for Pound charts for the first time and he was awarded the title of ‘Fighter of the Year’ by Ring magazine.

But, boxing can be a fickle sport and 12 months on, Frampton almost finds his career in limbo. Coming off the back of his first professional defeat in the rematch against Santa Cruz, the 30-year-old simultaneously lost his WBA featherweight title and since then, he has decided it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

Over the past month, the Northern Irish fighter has publicly split from both his long term trainer Shane McGuigan and has even fired boxing legend Barry McGuigan and his management team, it looks like a new chapter for Frampton’s career.

So, what’s next for the Jackal?

The Next Manager?

Following his first defeat, Frampton made his intentions clear, he wanted to fight at his beloved Windsor Park and he only wanted to fight the elite of the elite. This turned out to be something both Barry McGuigan and Cyclone promotions could not offer.

Instead, and obviously, against his wishes, he didn’t get anything he had asked for. Cyclone announced a third-rate non-title matchup with a fighter who had rarely been seen outside of Mexico, Andres Gutierrez (not Selby or another world champion) at the Odyssey Arena (not Windsor) which was to be shown on Channel 5 (not Sky or BT Sports).

To add insult to injury, Frampton was left very upset when he’s welcome home fight was scrapped just 24 hours before the bout after his opponent slipped in the shower and suffered several injuries.

Now aged 30, Frampton knows that he only has a few more years left and if he wants to cement his legacy against the best, Cyclone aren’t the team that can help him do that.

“He’s a box office star – I can offer him Windsor Park fights, Leo Santa Cruz in Belfast?” – Eddie Hearn

With Frampton making it clear that he has no intentions of working with Cyclone anymore, boxing promoters across the world have been put on red alert.

It has been heavily rumoured that Frank Warren and BT Sport are preparing a huge offer to secure the services of the man regarded as Britain’s Pound for Pound king. Unsurprisingly, Eddie Hearn is also desperate to add Frampton’s name to the Matchroom stable, Sky’s main man has even promised Frampton his Windsor Park dream and a third fight with his arch nemesis, could that be enough for Frampton to put his grudge with Hearn aside?

It appears the Northern Irishman’s list of admirers goes further than just the UK. One of America’s most iconic figures, Al Haymon, a man that Frampton has worked with in the past, has also made it clear that he wants to bring Frampton stateside and turn him into a US pay-per-view star.

Whoever the lucky promoter is, a decision looks to be imminent, or does it?

It wouldn’t be boxing without the odd twist in the tale, would it?

Although Frampton may be labeling himself as a ‘free agent’, the British Boxing Board of Control has a different opinion. They have stated this week that they still hold a signed contract between both Frampton and Cyclone promotions and until this matter is sorted, Frampton’s plans to return to the ring look to be on hold.

The contract is believed to be one that requires both parties to agree to the termination, so, it appears that the McGuigan’s aren’t ready to give up their prized possession without a fight.

The Next Trainer?

For Frampton, he must have felt almost like an extended member of the McGuigan family. Not only was Barry McGuigan his manager, but Barry’s son Shane had been Frampton’s long time trainer.

Although Frampton’s main problem might have been based on the management side of the business, the Northen Irishman wanted to wipe the slate clean, this meant an end to his and Shane’s eight-year relationship.

But, ‘The Jackal’ clearly didn’t dwell on the break-up for too long. Earlier this month, Frampton announced that Jamie Moore would be the man to take McGuigan’s place in his corner.

Moore himself has enjoyed a somewhat successful career, a former British, Commonwealth and European champion, Moore has previously worked with the likes of Matthew Macklin and Tommy Coyle.

With Frampton immediately becoming the biggest star that he has ever worked with, many boxing fans were confused at the decision. Frampton, however, was quick to make it clear that he feels he has found Shane McGuigan’s perfect replacement.

“Because of the type of person I am, Jamie is the perfect fit. You need a trainer you can trust and I had one very good trainer in Shane, so I had to find another one.” – Carl Frampton

The Next Fight?

For a man who is still ranked as the second-best featherweight on the planet, Frampton will obviously have a string of options. But speaking for the British boxing fans, we would like to see one fight and it looks like it could be close.

IBF champion Lee Selby is the name on everyone’s lips. Although a trilogy with Leo Santa Cruz does sound mouthwatering, the idea of Frampton vs Selby at Windsor park, in an all domestic super fight and for the IBF crown is on a whole other level for Frampton.

“Now we’re trying to make the Frampton fight and that’s the fight I want, or the likes of Gary Russell Jr. From what I know my management have spoken to Al Haymon and it’s the fight I want and I believe it’s the fight Carl Frampton wants too.” – Lee Selby

It appears that both men are eager for the fight to happen and the two are even hoping that it can be made before 2017 closes to an end.