IF rumours are to be believed, Carl Frampton will make his Windsor Park bow on August 18 against unheralded Australian Luke Jackson.
‘The Jackal’, a former world super-bantamweight champion last seen slugging it out with Nonito Donaire at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena, was recently linked to a fight with new IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington. But that fight, rather than take place on August 18 in Belfast, is seemingly one the pair’s promoter, Frank Warren, would like to marinate. Instead, the likelihood is that Jackson gets announced on Wednesday (first reported by Kevin Byrne).
Day 1 of a 10 week gruelling training camp ?? pic.twitter.com/pEiTEf7Y40
— Luke Jackson (@LukeJackson) June 11, 2018
The 33-year-old Aussie, a 2012 Olympian, possesses a professional record of 16-0 with seven knockouts. He’s known as ‘Action’, which presumably offers an insight into his style, but has also beaten zero fighters of note since turning professional in May 2013.
Alas, on the list of recent Frampton opponents, it’s fair to say Jackson, should the fight get made, could represent the softest opponent, on paper, since 2012.
The undefeated record will help the sell, and must count for something, but there can be no ignoring the fact Frampton elevated himself beyond this level many, many years ago.
Speaking about the Windsor Park date, the Irishman said, “It means the world to me. It’s something I’ve dreamed about for a long time. I feel it should’ve happened last year but it’s happening now.
“I’d rather it was a world title but nobody’s to blame – all the champions have recently fought and Warrington beating (Lee) Selby threw a spanner in the works because Selby would’ve taken the fight.
“I’ve loads left. My last performance was the second best of my career after the first Leo Santa Cruz fight. I feel like I’m enjoying it more and while I’m still performing, I’ll do it as long as I can.
“It’s great to have Tyson Fury on the undercard. To have someone of his stature on the undercard is massive and he’ll be up against a more serious opponent this time so it’s good for everyone.”
Fury and Frampton are charismatic and high-profile personalities and, on their day, two wonderful fighters. They are, in fact, two of only a few bona fide world champions – division number ones – we’ve had in recent years.
But a fight – a good one at least – is about far more than just the A-side.
For now, it’s the combat sport world’s unicorn, but Dana White has once again been discussing his plans for Zuffa Boxing and this time revealed he has no intention of cooperating with the current sanctioning bodies.
This means no WBC, WBA, IBF or WBO world title fights for those aligned to the UFC President’s boxing promotion. Instead, Zuffa Boxing will look to create a new league that “it will own and control”.
“We will not work with the WBA, WBC, IBF, IBO, and WBO organizations,” White said on the Australian Financial Review.
The idea of sanctioning bodies being ignored in favour off a simpler model is music to the ears of most boxing purists. However, if you break down the sport’s parts, purify it somewhat, only to then attempt to monopolise it and create a fractured fight league, you’re essentially robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Additionally, it’s not just the sanctioning bodies with whom White has refused to work in this boxing venture. Promoters and television networks have also felt the cold shoulder, with White, in prior interviews, showing a reluctance to work with Showtime Boxing, Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank.
Nobody doubts White’s ability to promote. The work he has done with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ranks alongside any promoter’s body of work and has been nothing short of extraordinary. But, the way things are going, Zuffa Boxing, if it ever becomes something tangible, could be the black sheep of the boxing world.
“The interest is definitely there – all the fighters have reached out, other promoters have contacted us and everybody’s keen,” White said. “The question is how I make it work with bandwidth maxed out right now running the UFC’s business.”