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Carl Frampton hoping to return in late 2019

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Following a freak injury, Frampton is still looking to get back this year.

Boxing from the Manchester Arena Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Carl Frampton was set to fight on Aug. 10 in Philadelphia in an ESPN+ main event, but a frankly absurd injury — a pillar at a hotel fell and broke his left hand — prevented that.

The former two-division titleholder is still hoping to get back in the ring by the end of this year, he says, with another appointment to see a hand specialist set for today.

Frampton (26-2, 15 KO) hasn’t been in the ring since Dec. 22, when he lost a 12-round decision in an IBF featherweight title challenge against Josh Warrington in Manchester. Frampton, 32, was simply outhustled and beaten in that fight, which there’s no shame in as Warrington is a very good fighter on a hell of a roll right now.

But one has to wonder where Frampton really is at this point, too. Following his Jan. 2017 rematch loss to Leo Santa Cruz, he didn’t look great in his return 10 months later, outpointing Horacio Garcia. He did beat Nonito Donaire in April 2018, and Donaire has gone on to have another terrific run at bantamweight, but that fight was at featherweight, where Donaire was never quite himself.

Frampton’s last victory came over an overmatched Luke Jackson in Aug. 2018 in Belfast.

Frampton’s scheduled August bout was to be against Emmanuel Dominguez, a 25-year-old Mexican with eight losses who’s ranked 70th in the world by BoxRec at 126 pounds. So Top Rank were looking to get Frampton a tune-up, which is probably what should be epxected whenever he does return. They could even call on Dominguez again, possibly, as it’s not like Dominguez is going to get any bigger a fight than a chance to upset Frampton.

If Frampton wins whenever he returns, you can probably expect him back in the title mix in 2020, and a potential fight with Shakur Stevenson — who will soon fight for the vacant WBO title — could be a big one. Top Rank also have Jessie Magdaleno at 126, and Isaac Dogboe will probably be moving up, too. Those won’t happen next, but maybe next year.