<
>

Frampton ordered to defend against Rigondeaux

After Carl Frampton outpointed Scott Quigg on Saturday to unify two junior featherweight world titles, Frampton (22-0, 14 KOs) expressed interest in a possible move up to featherweight to challenge titleholder Leo Santa Cruz (32-0-1, 18 KOs), who knocked out former junior featherweight titlist Kiko Martinez an few hours later in Anaheim, California.

Santa Cruz-Frampton would probably be a very good fight and one that would attract a lot of attention on both sides of the pond.

However, should Frampton elect to remain at junior featherweight and hang on to both of his belts he will have to next face former titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux, who was stripped of two title belts for inactivity. However, the WBA said he would be first in line to be the mandatory challenger for its belt following Frampton-Quigg.

So as long as Rigondeaux (16-0, 10 KOs) defeats massive underdog James “Jazza” Dickens (21-1, 6 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round fight at the Echo Arena in Dickens’ hometown of Liverpool, England, on March 12, Rigondeaux will be next up for Frampton.

The WBA said the fight is due by July 27 and if they can’t make a deal, a purse bid will be ordered. Frampton, however, could relinquish the WBA belt and go on defending the IBF version that he has held since September 2014. Just a few days removed from the big win against Quigg, Frampton and his team have not yet made a decision, not to mention that Rigondeaux still has to win next week.