Carl Frampton vows to ‘cement his legacy’ and be ‘the best fighter in Irish history’ by beating ex-US Marine Jamel Herring in Dubai showdown as The Jackal bids to become his country’s first three-weight world champion
- Carl Frampton and Jamel Herring are set for their WBO world title fight in Dubai
- Pride of Belfast believes he can confirm his status as Ireland’s finest fighter
- He would outdo his erstwhile mentor Barry McGuigan in that regard if he wins
- Herring, 35, is a former US Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq
- The fight will be televised free-to-air in the United Kingdom on Channel 5
The Jackal will howl in the desert this Saturday night and when the sand-storm clears Carl Frampton hopes he will emerge as a boxing legend.
Frampton will become the first boxer from the island of Ireland to become a three-weight world champion If he defeats former US marine Jamel Herring in Dubai.
‘I will cement my legacy here,’ says the pride of Belfast. ‘The best Carl Frampton will beat the best Jamel Herring. Hopefully I could go down as the best fighter in Irish history.’
Carl Frampton believes he can confirm his status as Ireland’s greatest-ever boxer if he defeats Jamel Herring in their Dubai showdown on Saturday night
The Jackal (right) is aiming to become his country’s first three-weight world champion
If so he would wrest that distinction from Barry McGuigan, for so long his mentor and manager until they fell out of friendship and into court.
But although that might sweeten the moment all the more on a personal level, Frampton cannot disguise his respect for McGuigan the boxer.
He says: ‘It is 35 years since Barry beat the great Eusebio Pedroza to become world featherweight champion and people still talk about that incredible night at Loftus Road.
‘It would be very satisfying If there are similar memories of me. All fighters dream of becoming legends.
‘I’m very proud of everything I’ve achieved in my career this far. But to make Irish history and join the elite ranks of global fighters to win titles in three divisions would mean the world to me.’
The former US Marine Jamel Herring stands in Frampton’s way in the UAE this weekend
Frampton, 34, says becoming a world title holder in a third division would ‘mean the world’
As a 34-year-old former world super-bantamweight and super-featherweight champion, this shot at the WBO junior lightweight crown offers a real chance to fulfil that ambition.
Frampton is revered already in Belfast. There, like McGuigan before him, he not only thrilled the crowds with his all-action exploits in the ring but has been an influence for peace after marrying across the sectarian divide.
If he is to crown his glory, he knows he will have to regain the peak form which carried him to victory in his super-featherweight title rematch in America against the outstanding Mexican Leo Santa Cruz four years ago, Frampton is aware, also, that he is up against a similarly tough and motivated champion this weekend.
Herring, a few months older at 35, is the product of a difficult boyhood in New York which led him to enrol in the Marines. His ring pseudonym is Semper Fi, meaning always loyal, which is the motto of the Marine Corps, with whom he served two tours of duty in Iraq.
Frampton (left) pictured during his 2018 loss to Josh Warrington at featherweight
He says: ‘You dream of winning a world title. But then what? You want to build a legacy by taking on great fighters and I see Frampton as one of those. As someone I can define my career against.’
Frampton has questioned the wisdom of the American delaying his arrival in Dubai until just seven days before the fight, saying: ‘That doesn’t seem long enough to adjust to an 11-hour time difference for him and to acclimatise to the heat. I believe that gives me an important advantage.’
Herring argues: ‘I travelled the world with the Marines, including to the Middle East. I’m used to the time changes and neither that nor the heat has ever bothered me. Since arriving I’ve been very comfortable training at fight-time in the evening.’
Frampton’s fight with Herring will be shown free-to-air in the United Kingdom on Channel 5
Neither was overly impressive last time out, last summer. Herring was helped through a sluggish title defence when Jonathan Oquendo was disqualified for head butting.
Of his own performance, in a routine interim victory against Darren Traynor by seventh round stoppage, Frampton says: ‘No, that wasn’t brilliant. But we both know this will be a tough fight and we need to be at our best.’
If they are, the free-to-air viewer on Channel 5 will be in for a treat.
And if so, Frampton’s superior pedigree derived against higher-quality opponents should see him take that place in history he craves.
Herring v Frampton will be televised live this Saturday night on Channel 5.
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