Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring’s WBO junior lightweight world title defense against Belfast’s former two-weight world champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton — Saturday, April 3 from Caesars Bluewaters Dubai — will stream live and exclusively in the United States on ESPN+.
Herring-Frampton will headline a two-bout broadcast beginning at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. In the 10-round junior welterweight co-feature, undefeated Kazakh star Zhankosh Turarov will fight Belfast native Tyrone McKenna.
Undercard action will stream live on ESPN+ at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.
“This is a fight that’s been in the works for a very long time, and I expect both Jamel and Carl to be at their best,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “It’s an even matchup, and I am pleased that fans in the United States can watch it live on ESPN+.”
Herring (22-2, 10 KOs) has made two defenses of the title he won from Masayuki Ito in May 2019, most recently defeating Puerto Rican challenger Jonathan Oquendo via disqualification last September at the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble. He was originally scheduled to face Frampton last summer in Belfast, but COVID-19 intervened. Frampton (28-2, 16 KOs), who won world titles at junior featherweight and featherweight, hopes to make history as the island of Ireland’s first three-division world champion. He has won two straight bouts since losing a unanimous decision to Josh Warrington in December 2018 for the IBF featherweight world title. In his lone ring appearance of 2020, Frampton knocked out late replacement foe Darren Traynor in the seventh round.
Undercard action streaming on ESPN+ includes:
Former four-weight world champion Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23 KOs) returns to action after more than two years away from the ring and will fight an opponent to be named in a 10-rounder at junior bantamweight. Nietes, from the Philippines, is one of four Asian fighters in boxing history to capture world titles in four weight classes.
Keyshawn Davis (1-0, 1 KOs), a former U.S. amateur standout who captured a silver medal at the 2019 World Championships, will take on an opponent to be named in a six-round lightweight bout.
Carl Frampton had a late replacement opponent in Darren Traynor and a lot to lose with a junior lightweight world title bout against Jamel Herring looming.
Frampton (28-2, 16 KOs), a former two-weight world champion, stopped Traynor with a body shot in round seven of a scheduled 10-round lightweight fight. It took a few rounds for Frampton, who hadn’t fought in nearly nine months, to find his rhythm.
Traynor (16-4, 7 KOs) accepted the fight on about a week’s notice after Frampton’s original opponent, Vahram Vardanyan, pulled out due to visa issues.
Said Frampton, “I’m happy to get the win, obviously. Far from my best, but I suppose people talk about rounds. I don’t think it’s going to harm me doing the rounds. If I had the chance to take him out in the first round, I would’ve done that.
“It was a better opponent for Herring than the original opponent because I think he was about my height, maybe even a little bit shorter. Darren isn’t a southpaw, but the dimensions are similar. I know I need to be a lot better for Herring. It’s good to get the rounds done. My hands are fine. No issues there. Onward and upward.”
Conlan Remains Unbeaten
Featherweight Michael “Mick” Conlan, in his final bout before a planned move to junior featherweight, knocked out Sofiane Takoucht in the 10th round. Conlan (14-0, 8 KOs) had a pair of points deducted for low blows, but he dominated the action and stunned Takoucht (35-5-1, 13 KOs) with an overhand left early in the 10th.
A follow-up flurry prompted Steve Gray to call off the fight and give Conlan his second knockout in three bouts.
Following the bout, Conlan, who has campaigned at featherweight since turning pro in 2017, maintained his desire to shave four pounds to fight at junior featherweight. Conlan is ranked third at junior featherweight by the WBO and has his sights set on the winner of the upcoming title bout between champion Angelo Leo and No. 1 contender Stephen Fulton.
In other action:
— World-rated junior lightweight Archie Sharp (19-0, 9 KOs) scraped past former sparring partner Jeff Ofori (10-3-1, 3 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight bout. Referee Marcus McDonnell, the lone judge, scored the fight 96-95.
— Troy Williamson (15-0-1, 11 KOs) bested Harry Scarff (8-2, 1 KO) by 10-round unanimous decision to retain his IBF European junior middleweight title. Williamson prevailed by razor-thin margins of 97-94, 96-94 and 96-95, as he saw his six-bout knockout streak come to an end.
— Top Rank-signed welterweight prospect Paddy Donovan (4-0, 3 KOs), a 21-year-old from Limerick, Ireland, knocked out Des Newton (8-16, 2 KOs) at 1:31 of the opening round with a right hook to the body.
Photo: Queensberry Promotions
Carl “The Jackal” Frampton was forced to drop out of Saturday’s featherweight main event against Emmanuel Dominguez at the Liacouras Center after fracturing the fifth metacarpal in his left hand. The injury occurred Monday morning at the fight hotel when someone knocked over a concrete structure, which then struck Frampton’s hand.
The Jason Sosa-Haskell Lydell Rhodes 10-round super featherweight bout has been elevated to the main event, while middleweight knockout artist Edgar Berlanga (11-0, 11 KOs) will face Gregory Trenel (11-4-2, 3 KOs) in the eight-round co-feature. Two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez’s highly anticipated pro debut — a four-rounder at featherweight versus Adan Gonzales — will round out the tripleheader, which begins at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
Said Frampton: “I’m gutted, gutted for the people that paid their hard-earned money to make the trip to support me. I’ve spent the summer away from my family training for the fight, all a waste now because of this freak accident.”
Carl “The Jackal” Frampton is on the hunt for another world title. Frampton, the former two-division world champion from Belfast, Northern Ireland, will make his first stateside appearance in more than two years in a 10-round featherweight bout against the hard-hitting Emmanuel Dominguez on Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Liacouras Center.
Frampton-Dominguez and a co-feature will stream live on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service — beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The entire undercard, including South Philadelphia heavyweight sensation Sonny Conto (3-0, 3 KOs), Philadelphia-born featherweight prospect Donald Smith (9-0, 6 KOs) and Puerto Rican middleweight puncher Edgar Berlanga (11-0, 11 KOs), will stream on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.
“Dominguez is a tall, young, hungry featherweight, so I’ll need to be on my game,” Frampton said. “The premise of an Oscar Valdez fight is dangling in front of me, so I want to go out and show the world that I’ve still got what it takes to be a world champion. Winning is always the most important thing, but I want to do it in style. It’s great to be boxing stateside again. And Philly, in particular, has so much boxing history. I’d like to thank MTK Global and Top Rank for giving me the opportunity. I won’t disappoint.”
“Carl Frampton is already looking ahead to an Oscar Valdez fight, which gives me added motivation,” Dominguez said. “I am not a stepping stone. I am coming to Philadelphia prepared to ruin Carl’s plans.”
Frampton (26-2, 15 KOs), a 10-year pro who compiled more than 100 victories during a standout amateur career, is on the road back to another world title opportunity following his competitive decision loss to IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington last December. Frampton won the IBF junior featherweight world title in 2014 and unified titles against WBA champion Scott Quigg via split decision in February 2016. He upset Leo Santa Cruz to win the WBA super world featherweight title in July 2016 but lost the immediate rematch six months later.
Frampton won three in a row, including an interim world title, before running into Warrington in front of a sold-out Manchester Arena crowd in one of the year’s best fights. With his sights set on Valdez, he must first defeat Dominguez (26-8-2, 18 KOs), a 25-year-old native of Aguascalientes, Mexico, who has won four of his last five, all by knockout.