Carl Frampton inks deal with Top Rank and ESPN, hopes for big fights
By Bill Tibbs
Former world champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton, (26-2, 15 KO’s), certainly one of the most exciting little-big men in boxing over the last decade, has signed a promotional agreement with Las Vegas based promo-powerhouse Top Rank Boxing.
The company, as of late, has been collaborating with various European based promotional firms, such as MTK Global and Queensberry Promotions.
This is nothing new for the legendary firm that has a long tradition of doing business with any and all promoters to try the secure the best possible fights for their roster – always good news for fight fans. The co-promotions could see UK based stars start to appear more frequently in the United States. The agreement might also see some of Top Ranks clients heading over to appear on big shows in Europe.
Frampton, a two-time world champion at super bantamweight and featherweight, will continue to campaign at featherweight as he heads into the final chapter of his storied career.
This signing is a great move for Frampton as he has aligned himself with one of the busiest, high profile platforms in ESPN.
Frampton turned pro in 2009 and held the British Commonwealth super bantamweight title within 2 years. Then, by 2013 he had the European Boxing Union (EBU) super bantamweight title in his trophy case.
In September of 2014 he captured his first world title, beating champion Kiko Martinez in Belfast, Northern Ireland via unanimous decision.
Frampton made 2 defenses of that title before adding the WBA super bantamweight title to his collection by beating fellow champion Scott Quigg in a close, split-decision win in February of 2016.
Then, 6 months later, he really expanded his brand Stateside by besting American featherweight star Leo Santa Cruz taking his WBA featherweight title in a great fight in Brooklyn, New York.
However, Santa Cruz would get his title back 6-months later when he beat Frampton in the rematch in Las Vegas.
Santa Cruz would pick up one more win to close out 2017 before picking up the WBO world featherweight title in April of 2018. Then, after one defense in August of 2018, he looked to close out the year with a win against Josh Warrington to capture the IBF world featherweight title.
However, Warrington out-Framptoned Carl as he simply beat him to the punch all night swarming the rugged Belfast native at very turn, delivering a lot of punishment to the Irish star in what was a clear ‘fight of the year’ candidate.
And, now Frampton has taken some time and is looking to secure some big fights as he enters what will probably be the final stage of his career. While only a pro for 10-years, and with only 28-fights, one might assume he has a lot of time left in the game. But, he is 32-years old and he has been fighting in high level, rugged bouts, time and again, throughout his career.
While Frampton was unsure what he would do next after the Warrington loss, he has decided to make one more run at the championship level and see what he can accomplish before he draws the curtain on his outstanding career.
With WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez also in the Top Rank family, that is a fight that we could see down the line. And, if that fight happens, prepare for fireworks because their styles are both all-action, all night.
After signing with Top Rank it was clear that Frampton was excited to inject new life into his career and look to secure a title shot with any of the champions available at 126-pounds.
"It’s an honor for me to be teaming up with Top Rank for what will be the last chapter of my career,” Frampton said. “A credit to my management team, MTK Global, on being able to get me a deal with the biggest boxing promotional company on the planet. It also makes a fight, at some point in the future, with WBO champion Oscar Valdez a real possibility. My goal, at this stage of my career, is still to become a world champion, and I feel I’ll reach my goal with MTK and Bob Arum’s Top Rank in my corner”, he said.