FORMER two-weight world champion Carl Frampton has been given a lofty ranking at super-featherweight by the WBA as he prepares to announce his next fight.
‘The Jackal’ became the first Northern Irish two-weight world champion last year when he dethroned WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz, having previously won the IBF and WBA titles at super-bantamweight.
Santa Cruz defeated Frampton in their Las Vegas rematch in January, and Carl is looking to have his next outing this summer in Belfast. He has not yet announced who he will be fighting, but the WBA have installed him at No 2 in their super-featherweight rankings.
Frampton has previously spoken about a move to 130lbs, though noted that it would not happen in the near future as he has more plans at featherweight. He is eager for a trilogy fight with Santa Cruz, but Leo has stated he will not travel to Belfast for it.
A move up in weight does provide Frampton with some interesting options, though. Should he win a world title there, he would become the first Irish fighter to become a three-weight world champion. The WBA’s super-featherweight champion is Jezreel Corrales, who is set to defend his title against Robinson Castellanos in July.
The WBA’s No 1 challenger is Bryan Vasquez, a former ‘Interim’ WBA champion who has fought Takashi Uchiyama and Javier Fortuna (though lost to both).
Outside of the WBA route, Frampton could also look at pound-for-pound wizard Vasyl Lomachenko or even the winner of this weekend’s clash between IBF champion Gervonta Davis and Liam Walsh.
However, Frampton still has solid options at featherweight. He is the WBC No 1 challenger, meaning he is in line to fight Gary Russell Jnr, provided he beats Oscar Escandon this weekend. Frampton is also ranked third by the IBF, meaning a huge domestic clash with Wales’ champion Lee Selby is still on the cards.