Carl Frampton gets new opponent
Rising junior featherweight contender Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland has a new -- and better-known -- opponent for his July 20 fight at Wembley Arena in London.
Frampton was originally supposed to face Fabian Orozco (20-2-2, 7 KOs), 27, of Argentina. However, Orozco took an interim bout on June 28 in Argentina and got knocked out in the second round by Julian Evaristo Aristule, a loss that also knocked him out of the fight with Frampton.
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So instead of facing Orozco, Frampton, 26, will take on Nicaragua's Everth Briceno, 35, who twice unsuccessfully challenged for junior bantamweight world titles. He also lost in 2011 to Leo Santa Cruz, who went on to win a bantamweight world title.
"Everth Briceno is a great fighter. The guy has fought for the world title on two separate occasions," Frampton said Monday. "He also boxed Leo Santa Cruz, who [I think] is a future rival of mine, so I aim to do a better job on Briceno than Santa Cruz did. I am in the best shape of my life right now. I am improving in training every day, sparring great, and I'm looking forward to showcasing my skills at Wembley."
Briceno, a 13-year professional, has won two fights in a row. But he dropped unanimous decisions in both of his world title fights, to Fernando Montiel in Las Vegas in 2005 and to Omar Narvaez in Argentina in 2010.
Frampton, who is managed by Hall of Fame former featherweight titlist Barry McGuigan, is coming off two of his most impressive performances, a sixth-round knockout of former junior featherweight titleholder Steve Molitor in September and a ninth-round knockout of Kiko Martinez to win the European title in February. Frampton's European title will not be at stake against Briceno.
The fight is on the undercard of the show headlined by the heavyweight bout between former world title challenger Dereck Chisora (16-4, 10 KOs), 29, of England, and Malik Scott (35-0-1, 12 KOs), 32, of Philadelphia.
Chisora ended a three-fight losing streak April 20 by knocking out journeyman Hector Alfredo Avila in the ninth round at Wembley Arena. Scott is coming off a heavily disputed split draw against Vyacheslav Glazkov, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist from Russia, on Feb. 23.