The World Boxing Association announced on their website earlier this week that they are stripping 122 lb titleholder Carl Frampton (22-0) for refusing to meet Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0) to unify the World belt with Rigo’s “championship in recess”. The action by the WBA was made official on April 7th.
Frampton last fought in February of this year when he defeated English rival Scott Quigg to capture the WBA belt and add that title to his IBF trinket.
This opens Frampton up to a lot of speculation about his next move. The showdown against Quigg was considered a big fight in England, but on the world stage both fighters were accused by critics of ducking the formidable Cuban Rigondeaux. The WBA’s announcement made it clear that Frampton had refused the fight with Rigondeaux this past March, and he did not respond to follow-up efforts by the WBA to make the fight. Look for the chorus of “Frampton is ducking Rigondeaux” to pick up again after this latest chapter.
Frampton is widely considered to be moving up in weight class to 126 lbs, where a showdown in the United States with WBA Super World featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz looms. Another possibility is another all-British showdown with IBF World Featherweight champion Lee Selby. The bottom line for Frampton appears to be money, and it is almost a certainty that Frampton-Santa Cruz in Los Angeles or Frampton-Selby in England will make “The Jackal” far more money than a showdown with Rigondeaux would net him, no matter where that fight takes place. The truth is that neither Selby or Santa Cruz is exactly an easy fight for Frampton.
At the moment, Framton still hold the IBF’s 122 lb title, but a move up in weight class appears to be his next step. If the fights with Santa Cruz and Selby materialize, then Frampton will be taking on a major challenge here in the near future. If he signs to fight just about anyone else in between, the talk that Frampton is ducking the cream of the crop in his weight divisions will start all over again.
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