herald

Monday 18 December 2017

frampton in a quigg return

boxing

Carl Frampton retained his IBF super-bantamweight title with an impressive fifth-round stoppage of mandatory challenger Chris Avalos at a raucous Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

The Northern Irishman was making the first defence of the world crown he won by defeating Kiko Martinez last September and he did not disappoint his vocal home fans on Saturday night.

Frampton rocked his American opponent in the second round and then stepped up his assault in the fifth before referee Howard John Foster stopped the contest midway through the round.

After disposing of Avalos, Frampton quickly turned his attention to a potential domestic showdown with British rival and WBA regular world champion Scott Quigg.

Frampton said: "I would love it. I think Scott wants it, it's a summer showdown between the both of us. It's a massive fight but Scott needs to remember who's the real world champion."

The 28-year-old added he would be happy to fight outside of Belfast in order to guarantee an encounter with fellow unbeaten fighter Quigg, who was ringside to see his rival bolster his standing as one of the best fighters in the division.

"I would leave Belfast if I had to. Maybe somewhere neutral, it doesn't matter to me," he added.

"I think Scott would agree with me. It's the biggest fight in the UK (other than) Amir Khan-Kell Brook possibly, but I think this one's been brewing a lot longer. It's a huge domestic showdown."

Quigg - who holds a secondary version of the WBA title, with Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux the body's Super champion - is just as keen to arrange a bout.

"This fight is big, not because of him not just because of me, it's the full package. The British public want the fight," he said.

Meanwhile, Tyson Fury has set his sights on a showdown with Wladimir Klitschko after defeating Christian Hammer to retain the European heavyweight title at London's O2 Arena.

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