Carl Frampton has been angling for a world title fight since 2012, with the discussion really kickstarting after an impressive TKO-9 win over Kiko Martinez in 2013. As luck would have it, it will be Martinez defending the IBF super bantamweight title as Frampton takes his first crack at a world belt on September 6 in Belfast.
"I'm over the moon to be fighting for a world title in my hometown," said Frampton. "I have to thank my team for making this happen and now it is time for me to deliver. I am fully focused on September the 6th and Kiko Martinez. It's been my dream since I started boxing to become a world champion and I have worked so hard to get this far, now is the time for me to fulfill that dream in front of the best fans in the world."
Frampton (18-0, 13 KO) has emerged as one of the best 122-pound fighters in the world, denying skeptics and naysayers, and thus far living up to the hype from co-promoter Barry McGuigan, which once was all but chuckled at by some for its sheer relentlessness.
Frampton, 27, will obviously be the favored man going into this fight, given the fact that he convincingly won their first encounter, but Martinez (31-4, 23 KO) says he's never gotten that loss out of his mind, and a chance at revenge has him motivated.
"Since the 9th of February 2013, when I get up at five in the morning to go training, I remember him," said Martinez. "For me, to defeat him is a greater motivation than the chance to unify the belts. I will never forget that night and I will prove that it was just a bad day for me. I am world champion now and my legacy will be bigger for facing Carl Frampton."
The 28-year-old Martinez recovered nicely, to say the least, from his loss to Frampton, as two fighters later he beat Jhonatan Romero for the IBF belt on HBO, and has knocked out contenders Jeffrey Mathebula and Hozumi Hasegawa in his last two fights.
Cyclone Promotions CEO Barry McGuigan says that there's no venue set in Belfast, and that they're considering several options. One of the front-runners will be the Odyssey Arena, which has hosted Frampton's last four bouts, including the first fight with Martinez. But that arena only holds about 8,700, and may not be big enough for this fight.
BoxNation will air the fight in the United Kingdom.