Carl Frampton v Josh Warrington: IBF world-title on the line at Manchester Arena

Josh Warrington
Warrington won the IBF world featherweight title from Lee Selby in a split-decision at Elland Road in May

Josh Warrington will defend his IBF world featherweight title against Northern Ireland's Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on 22 December.

The 27-year-old won the title from Lee Selby in May and will defend it for the first time against former two-weight world champion Frampton.

After beating Luke Jackson in August, Frampton, 31, said he expected a bout with the Leeds fighter to be signed.

Warrington has won all 27 of his fights while Frampton has 26 wins and a loss.

But this will be the stiffest test Warrington has faced because the man in the opposite corner has held world titles at featherweight and super bantamweight.

In addition, Belfast-fighter Frampton has shared the ring with the likes of Mexico's Leo Santa Cruz twice - winning once - and Bury's former world champion Scott Quigg.

The bout will wrap up a frenetic run of activity in the sport this side of Christmas with British fighters including Anthony Joshua, Tony Bellew, Callum Johnson, Gavin McDonnell, George Groves and Callum Smith in world title contests, while Tyson Fury is also expected to challenge WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in December.

Analysis - 'Warrington the best of 2018'

Carl Frampton
Frampton stopped Australian Luke Jackson in the ninth round of their contest in Belfast last month

BBC Radio 5 live analyst Steve Bunce: "I don't think after seeing the win over Selby that you can write off Warrington. That, at the moment, is the best display by a British boxer in 2018.

"He showed better footwork and punch variety, as well as the ability to work to a plan. Frampton will have to be faster, sharper and nastier than he was against Luke Jackson, who ended up with two ruptured eardrums and was in a right old state."

BBC Sport commentator Mike Costello: "This might be the best fight in Britain this year, I think it has all the elements. The event of the year will be if Fury fights Wilder but if there was a fight I would like to see with a free ticket, it would be Frampton-Warrington.

"The trainer Virgil Hunter once told me that sometimes a fighter produces a special performance that even people in his own gym didn't know was there. There may just be more to come from Warrington."

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