Carl Frampton: A 'big name' opponent required for Windsor Park date

Mike Costello (right), Carl Frampton (centre) and Jamie Moore (left) on BBC Radio 5 live
Mike Costello (right), Carl Frampton (centre) and Jamie Moore (left) on BBC Radio 5 live

Carl Frampton wants to fight a big name at Windsor Park in August but says it is unlikely to be new IBF featherweight world champion Josh Warrington.

Warrington beat Lee Selby on Saturday to win the belt and Northern Ireland's Frampton had already booked the stadium with the hope of taking on the winner.

The former two-weight world champion could now try to lure WBC title holder Gary Russell Jr to Belfast instead.

"We need to get an opponent soon and it needs to be a big name," said Frampton.

Russell retained his featherweight title on Saturday night with a unanimous points win against Joseph Diaz but the American suffered a hand injury in the early rounds and could also struggle to fight again in three months time.

Warrington also won on points in a gritty fight at Elland Road in his home city of Leeds.

"I didn't care who won - Lee Selby or Josh Warrington - but I was hoping for it to be a one-round blow out with no injuries and for him to be ready to go in August," added WBO interim featherweight champion Frampton, who was part of the BBC Radio 5 live coverage of the fight.

"It probably doesn't look like Josh is going to be ready - he'll need some time to rest - but I'm fighting in August at Windsor Park."

Frampton beat Nonito Donaire to win the WBO interim featherweight title in April
Frampton beat Nonito Donaire to win the WBO interim featherweight title in April

Frampton's coach, Jamie Moore believes it would be unfair to ask Warrington to be ready to fight again in just three months after his gruelling battle with Selby went the distance.

"The scenario that I thought would happen would be if Selby won and then I felt he would have been quite happy to go to Windsor Park because he would already have been an established world champion and it wouldn't have been a new thing," said Moore.

"I think Josh Warrington deserves to be able to enjoy the moment and enjoy his victory and then maybe further down the line..."

If Warrington or Russell are unable to complete a quick turnaround to fight in Belfast on 18 August it would leave Frampton's promoter Frank Warren struggling to find an opponent with the necessary reputation for a stadium fight that is expected to attract over 20,000 supporters.

Oscar Valdez is recovering from a broken jaw that he suffered during his victory against Scott Quigg in March while Frampton's former rival Leo Santa Cruz is preparing for a fight against Abner Mares in June.