It looks as though Jamel Herring’s planned title defense against Carl Frampton has lost its location as well as its date. After “The Jackal’s” manager, Jamie Conlan, confirmed last week that Belfast’s Windsor Park was out of the running and Madison Square Garden was “a serious option,” Frampton himself spoke up against allegations that the move was a disservice to his local fans.
The former two-division champion puts forth a strong case.
First of all, my number one priority was always to fight at Windsor Park and we were getting very close to sealing that deal for June, but then Covid-19 struck the world and the reality is that a stadium fight in Northern Ireland has a limited window of opportunity. I don’t see the fight happening before September, so Windsor would seem to be ruled out.
Of course, there is the option of the SSE Arena, but if it is between fighting there and aiming to make history as the first Irish three-weight world champion in Madison Square Garden, then I would go for the Big Apple, simply because I have never headlined there before. To be able to say that I had boxed at the Mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden, would be a real honour.
The lack of a major stadium atmosphere also reduces Herring’s incentive to defend his title on the road, which Frampton acknowledges.
Herring was prepared to come into my back yard to defend his title at Windsor Park, but why would he come here, as the champion, and fight in another indoor arena. I can clearly see from his point of view, it wouldn’t make sense when he has the option of defending on home soil at Madison Square Garden.
Frampton also dashes the notion that he’s accepting a Stateside fight for the sake of a bigger payday, saying his Top Rank contract states he’ll be paid a certain amount for this fight, no matter where it’s held.
Further, as he points out, the claim that he’s “putting two fingers up to the fans” fails to hold up against history, as he went through with his last bout despite a broken hand with his fans in mind.
According to Conlan, “the two are more likely to meet in October or November.”