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Luke Jackson gets chance of a lifetime against WBO interim champ Carl Frampton

Carl Frampton

Unheralded Australian Luke “Action” Jackson 16-0 (7) has received the opportunity of a lifetime with newly crowned WBO interim featherweight champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton 25-1 (14) agreeing to give the WBO number five a shot at the title at the big card at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland on August 18.

Frampton, 31, thought the opportunity to fight at the fabled ground had passed but thanked his promoter Frank Warren and the Irish Football Association for making his dream come to life.

“I thought last year Windsor Park had passed but Frank and the Irish Football Association have done a great job,” said Frampton at the press conference at Linfield F.C.’s home ground on Monday to announce the fight.

“I come here and watch the football team and the atmosphere cannot be beaten anywhere in the world. It’s like 80,000 fans giving you support.”

The popular Northern Irishman is coming off a career-best win over multi-weight champion Nonito Donaire 38-5 (24) in April to claim the WBO interim championship after regular champion Oscar Valdez 24-0 (19) of Mexico was sidelined indefinitely after breaking his jaw in his fight against an overweight Scott Quigg 34-2-2 (25) in March.

Many fans were expecting a more well-known name for his fight at the venue which is expected to draw a crowd in excess of 20,000 people.

“I respect any opponent especially when they are coming to Windsor Park. There are bigger fights but I cannot overlook Luke. Windsor Park need me to put on a big performance,” said the interim champion.

“Luke is an Olympian, an undefeated fighter and this can change his life if he beats me in a fight of this magnitude.

“This is a tougher fight than Scott Quigg who is just looking for a payday.”

Jackson, who hails from Hobart in Tasmania, is the current WBO Oriental champion and holds wins over former world title challengers Silvester Lopez and John Mark Apolinario, but is yet to be tested at world class level in his five years in the professional ranks.

The 33-year-old former Olympian, who captained the Australian team at the London Games, admits it will be a big step up in class but believes that his extensive amateur experience that saw him compile a record of 113-32 will put him in good stead for this type of challenge.

“I roomed with Jeff Horn at London 2012 and to see him beat Manny Pacquiao gives me hope and I have this massive opportunity,” he said at Monday’s press conference.

“My life will change overnight if I win. I have been proving people wrong for a long time and I am ready to do it again.

“I have been pretty vocal that I wanted Oscar Valdez, but this is even better. This is why we do it.”

Jackson is fan of Frampton, who he describes as a sort of grafter in the ring.

“I’m a fan of Carl and he is humble. He is very good and I am going to have to be at my best,” said the unbeaten Australian. “Carl doesn’t do anything great, but he is fundamentally sound and I am here to win. I am not here by luck.

“It has taken 16 years and got here through hard work and dedication.”

The undercard will feature the second fight in lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s return to the ring along with another world title clash between WBC flyweight champion Cristofer “El Látigo” Rosales 27-3 (18) of Nicaragua and Paddy “The Leprechaun” Barnes 5-0 (1) of Belfast.

“I genuinely think I am better than three years ago and even big Tyson Fury wouldn’t beat me at Windsor Park,” said Frampton.

“To have Tyson on the undercard and Paddy in a world title fight is something else.”