Irish boxing hero Carl Frampton still has ambitious plans in boxing. The 33-year-old wants to become a three-weight world champion but has seen a fight with WBO junior lightweight titleholder Jamel Herring evaporate for the time being because of travel restrictions.
Frampton, however, is back in the gym with trainer Jamie Moore and preparing to return to the ring later this summer.
“I’ve been back in a week,” he told The Ring. “We got the overnight boat, there’s no flights from Belfast to Liverpool or Manchester, so me and [light heavyweight prospect] Stevey Ward got the overnight boat in from Belfast to Birkenhead… It was nine hours.”
He’s still enjoying the sport, even though he recognises that after 29 fights (27-2, 15 knockouts) he’s nearer the end than the beginning and even though Herring won’t be next.
“It doesn’t look like it,” Frampton added. “He’s fighting a guy called Johnathan Oquendo next, who’s okay, not bad, but I think it’s a safe enough fight for Herring. They’re talking about me behind closed doors at the end of July or beginning of August against similar level of opposition to Oquendo. There’s no opponent and no definite date but that’s what they’re hoping for, talking about (promoter Frank) Warren doing a show at BT Studios. It’s going to be strange [with no crowd] but we’re all in the same boat. Whoever I’m fighting, he’s behind closed doors listening to the same dead atmosphere as me. I was lucky enough that I boxed for Ireland at a reasonably high level and in decent enough level multi-nation tournaments with not many people watching and I will be okay. What will annoy me, and I remember hearing it at some of my early fights in a six-rounder or whatever, is you hear the commentary and it’s so strange. I take one fight at a time and I am enjoying it, but I know a time will come when I have to retire and I think that it’s just one fight at a time in my career at this time. I’m still feeling good, I’m still feeling in good shape, I feel like I’ve still a bit to do and a bit to give… I want the world title fight with Herring, but one fight at a time at this stage.”
He is mindful of the toll hard sparring and fights take but now is not the time to walk away.
“I really enjoy being in this gym with the boys, they’re great people and we’re all very similar and get on well,” Frampton said. “When you really start to think about that when you get up in the morning and think about going to the gym to spar or whatever, that’s the time to get out. Obviously it’s in the back of my mind and I’ve got two young kids, which are the most important things in my life – a lot more important to me than boxing is – so I want to live long and have a great life with them after boxing and I want to be healthy for the rest of my days.”
The former two-weight world titleholder now looks back on six of his defining fights.