One interesting opportunity to emerge from Carl Frampton’s decision to sever ties with Matchroom sport and go it alone is the undercard slots for at least three Odyssey shows that will now be open to a cluster of young hopefuls. When Barry McGuigan promoted Carl’s fights against Yuri Voronin (September 2010) and Gavin Reid (December 2010) in the Ulster Hall as part of his early ring education, the Clones Cyclone gave undercard opportunities to Lurgan duo Ryan Greene and Stephen Haughian as well as exciting super-flyweight prospect Jamie Conlan, who is now closing in fast on a British title shot. Conlan may well return to the McGuigan fold to stake his claim for domestic honours as an Odyssey Arena support act.
“We are looking at Jamie Conlan as well as Anthony Cacace, Daniel McShane, James Tennyson and the young kid Ryan Burnett,” said McGuigan, who will soon start weighing up options. “Paul McCloskey could bounce back and we feel he’s got plenty left in the tank, plus there’s also Brian Magee. If these guys want to come and discuss things then we’re here, with BoxNation giving the TV exposure.”
McGuigan marvelled at the electric atmosphere that was generated by a fervent crowd during Frampton’s knockout win over Kiko Martinez in February. He feels that the momentum can only increase and even bigger nights are on the horizon.
“I’ve never heard an atmosphere yet as a promoter like the last one against Martinez, it was extraordinary and we believe it will be bigger and better in our planned dates. As long as this guy keeps doing what he does, and we know that Shane will meticulously take care of that end of things, then this will get very exciting.”
George Warren, who was on hand to speak on behalf of Frank Warren and his multiple interests, is keen to build a solid following in Belfast and sees home advantage in big title fights as a key proponent to achieving glory.
“Carl’s best chance of winning a world title fight is in Belfast and we’ve seen Jamie McDonnell down at bantamweight and Carl Froch both showing the difference that home advantage can make,” Warren stated. “From our perspective, with me talking personally for the channel and Frank Warren Promotions, all of this stuff about who’s promoting what is irrelevant. The bottom line is that we have a fantastic talent in Carl that you can see him on the channel that brings you the best boxing and the rest is history so let’s move on and build something.
“Things can obviously change in boxing but the plan is for Carl to fight on our Wembley show and then get him back out late September-early October, Barry wants to put on a final eliminator and then push on for the world title shot. Hopefully we can squeeze in a defence and then see what it’s about, by keeping him busy along the way.”
Co-promotions and managerial issues were clearly cited by Matchroom Sport in their press release statement that confirmed the split. While BoxNation will televise the action, barring July 20 it will be a joint McGuigan-Frampton initiative handling the promotional duties.
“After July 20, the fights in Belfast will be our promotion, Team Frampton and McGuigan will be promoting over here,” confirmed Barry. “I want to give young Belfast kids regular fights and we are at least going to have three of the four-fight deal taking place in Ireland.”
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