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Carl Frampton signs Top Rank deal, targets Oscar Valdez

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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Belfast featherweight Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton 26-2 (15) has inked a multi-fight pact with leading US promoter Top Rank.

The former two-weight world titleholder and his promoter Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions have agreed to the deal that will see the 32-year-old’s fights broadcast on ESPN platforms stateside.

“It’s an honour for me to be teaming up with Top Rank for what will be the last chapter of my career,” said Frampton to the BBC.

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Frampton is hoping that the deal will put him in the running to face one of the rising stars of the Top Rank stable.

“It also makes a fight, at some point in the future, with WBO champion Oscar Valdez a real possibility,” he said.

Frampton, who is coming off a loss to IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington in December, insists he still has one last world championship run left in him.

“My goal at this stage of my career is still to become a world champion and I feel I’ll reach my goal with MTK and Bob Arum’s Top Rank in my corner,” he added.

Top Rank boss Bob Arum said he was rapt to have Frampton join his stable.

“It’s wonderful news that Carl Frampton has joined us at Top Rank,” said Arum. “He is the epitome of a true warrior and we are proud to be promoting him as he works toward becoming the featherweight champion of the world once again.”

Frampton is tied up in legal action with former promoter Barry McGuigan and has previously stated he won’t step back into the ring until the case is sorted. With the case set down for May, it’s unlikely Frampton will box again until June at the earliest.

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