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Carl Frampton says Windsor Park fight against Luke Jackson could be his last in Belfast

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Less than a week out from his fight against Australia’s Luke Jackson 16-0 (7) at Windsor Park interim WBO featherweight champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton 25-1 (14) is already looking ahead to high profile fights against IBF titleholder Josh Warrington, WBO boss Oscar Valdez and old foe Leo Santa Cruz, who he split a pair of fights with in 2016-17.

“This is the most excited I’ve ever been for any fight, even though there’s not a world title on the line and who knows it could be the one and only time I get to fight at Windsor – and it may end up being the last time I fight in Belfast,” said the 31-year-old to the Belfast Telegraph.

“It would be hard to see any of them coming to Belfast because we have such a small window of opportunity to go outdoors.”

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Also appearing on the Windsor Park bill will be lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury up against former world title challenger Francesco Pianeta and Paddy “The Leprechaun” Barnes challenging for a world title in just his sixth pro bout against WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales.

Frampton is hoping to create a memorable event that is still being discussed generations later.

“I hope that in 40 years’ time people will look back at the night I gave one of my best performances, Paddy became a world champion and big Fury had his last fight before going on to be world champion again.

“For me personally it is going to be a special moment to walk out into the arena with the green shirt on and soak up the atmosphere that I have often enjoyed when sitting in the stands supporting Northern Ireland.

“As a kid I was dreaming of one day pulling on the green shirt and playing for Northern Ireland. So, this Saturday night is the next best thing for me to be headlining at Windsor, competing on the same stage.”

Frampton will be under pressure from the expected crowd of 25,000 fans to deliver a spectacular win, but there will be one person in the crowd he will be looking to impress the most.

“I can’t afford to let myself down, my family down or the fans who have supported me so well. They deserve to see me at my very best, going out there and delivering a spectacular win,” said Frampton.

“I want to make people feel proud. I know how much it means to someone like my dad. He doesn’t say too much but watching me emerge from the tunnel at Windsor is going to be great for him.

“The perfect ending to a great sporting occasion would a spectacular knockout – that’s what I would love.”

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