Carl Frampton camp target Belfast date as World title talks begin

Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Hugo Cazares
Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Hugo Cazares

Carl Frampton’s team will push heaven and earth to get his World title fight to Belfast.

The Tigers Bay fighter put himself into pole position to fight WBC Champion Leo Santa Cruz after seeing off Hugo Cazares in less than two rounds of their Final Eliminator for the WBC title at the Odyssey on Friday night.

Cyclone Promotions will try and get the fight in Belfast - with Balmoral and Ravenhill being touted as places that have been ear-marked for the job - even though a venue in the USA is favourite to land the job.

Cyclone CEO Barry McGuigan was in attendence at Ravenhill for the Ulster versus Saracens Heineken Cup match and he was blown away by the atmosphere.

And he believes the WBC and American television will love the size of crowd and atmosphere that a Frampton bill in Belfast brings.

“Belfast has been buzzing in the last three days, first of all for Carl’s fight and then the Ulster match.

“The atmosphere at both events was out of this world and you do not get that kind of atmosphere anywhere else in the World.

“I have been at fights all over the world - I was even at the last Floyd Mayweather fight in Las Vegas - and the atmosphere at the Odyssey and Ravehill surpassed that easily.

“Carl’s World title fight cannot be at the Odyssey because it is simple not big enough.

“We are looking at Ravenhill or maybe going outside at Balmoral but we will have to wait and see.

“But the big money is in America and Carl has always wanted to fight there.

“We would love the fight to be in Belfast - and we are heading to America soon for talks - but we have to wait and see.

“But I honestly believe carl beats Santa Cruz in America or Belfast,” he added.

And Frampton insists he has no problem in travelling to Santa Cruz’s backyard.

“If I have to go to America to fight him I am up for that. I will go to America at some stage, it has always been my dream to fight in the States, places like Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas.

“Nowhere can be as noisy as Belfast, the atmosphere just gets bigger and better and as soon as I got on to the ramp, I was just busting to get fighting. I was just trying to imagine what it will be like for a World title.

“The support has been fantastic. I have the loudest bunch of supporters in Europe without doubt.

And Frampton says that once he faces and beats Santa Cruz later this year he will be looking to meet WBO and WBA Super champion Gulliermo Rigondeau

“I see him as the best in the World at super bantamweight and if I beat Santa Cruz then he is the one I will chase.

“It is a fight I will want down the line - but we are totally focused on getting the fight with Santa Cruz.

“Rigo is a fantastic fighter but the most exciting fight in the division is Santa Cruz and myself,” Frampton said.

And McGuigan claimed that since HBO dropped the talented World champion it makes a lot more sense to fight Cruz.

“It is not a matter of us not getting Santa Cruz, we will get that fight. That is the fight that makes the money too. HBO have dropped him. He can talk about coming over here, but he doesn’t bring TV.

“We want big fights and to expose Carl to a wider audience too and that means fighting Santa Cruz,” he added,

Meanwhile Cyclone Promotions will be running a show at the Waterfront Hall on May 23.Marc McCullough, Jamie Conlan and Conrad Cummings will appear.