Northern Ireland’s national stadium plays host to a thrilling night of boxing on BT Sport this weekend…
Fight Night Live, Saturday 18 August, 7.45pm, BT Sport 1/HD (CH 531/527)
On Saturday, in front of what will no doubt be a capacity crowd at Belfast’s Windsor Park, Carl Frampton continues his quest to add yet another world championship belt to his collection.
And there’s plenty more thrills and spills to be had on what is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing nights in British boxing this year. A world title fight, up-and-coming prospects and the comeback of former lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury all make for an enticing undercard.
So before the bell rings and the fighters step forwards, here’s everything you need to know about this weekend’s upcoming action…
Carl Frampton v Luke Jackson
After wrapping up both the IBF and WBA super-bantamweight belts, Carl Frampton justifiably drew comparisons to his then-manager and legendary featherweight, Barry McGuigan. He later surpassed McGuigan’s achievements by becoming a two-weight world champion; his points win over revered Mexican boxer Léo Santa Cruz bringing him his first featherweight title. And although he lost the belt in the subsequent rematch, Frampton is keen to stake his claim for a shot at Óscar Valdez’s WBO title. To do so, he’ll have to overcome the unbeaten (16-0) Luke Jackson, who captained Australia at the London 2012 Olympics. But with Frampton fighting in front of a home crowd, expect “The Jackal” to deliver plenty of passion and firepower.
Tyson Fury v Franceso Pianeta
After his thrilling win over Wladimir Klitshko and his subsequent mental health troubles and ban, Tyson Fury is a man on a mission. Fighting for just the second time since 2015, fans hope that Fury can recapture the form that made him a champion following June’s somewhat lacklustre win over Sefer Seferi. Two-time world title challenger Francesco Pianeta should pose a tougher test of Fury’s abilities in Belfast, and the possibility remains that the Brit could challenge Deontay Wilder for the WBC title later this year should he come away with a win.
Paddy Barnes v Cristofer Rosales
Impressively, depending on the outcome of what will only be his sixth professional fight, former two-time Olympic bronze medal winner Paddy Barnes could become a world champion on Saturday. To do so, he’ll have to out-box Cristofer Rosales in the Nicaraguan’s first defence of the WBC flyweight title he won back in April. As a Belfast boy fighting in Windsor Park, expect an almighty roar should Barnes leave the ring with a raised fist and a belt slung over one shoulder.
Plenty of prospects
The rest of the undercard looks every bit as exciting as the main draw. Light-heavyweight Steve Collins Jr (son of former super-middleweight champion Steve Collins) is set to face home favourite Steven Ward, who’s looking to extend his unbeaten record to eight straight wins. Fellow Northern Ireland prospects Marco McCullough and Lewis Crocker are also set to continue their respective rises up the rankings, with both taking on yet-to-be-announced opponents.
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