Frampton to defend belts against Molitor after Martinez suffers injury blow
18:53 GMT, 16 August 2012
Carl Frampton will now face Steve Molitor at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on September 22 after Kiko Martinez withdrew through injury.
The Canadian, a two-time world champion, has stepped in at short notice and will attempt to depose Frampton of his Commonwealth and IBF International super bantamweight titles.
The 32-year-old has promised an explosive night as he bids to make a successful return to these shores.
Change of plan: Carl Frampton will now fight Steve Molitor in Belfast
‘I love fighting across the pond,’ Molitor said. ‘I’m four for four over there and plan on retaining that perfect record.
‘I am excited about fighting Frampton. Although he is not a household name amongst the rest in my division, he is recognised as a future star. Scott Quigg, Kid Galahad, and Carl are all names that are trying to make a name for themselves in the 122lb division, but unfortunately none of them will be making it off the Molitor name.
‘Although I am coming in off of Martinez stepping out, I have been training like a mad man for several months. I am not hungry, I am starving.
‘Stepping up against me as a two-time IBF champion of the world takes balls. I’d like to thank the Irish public in advance for coming out to the show and I have to tell them: “Don’t blink, you’re going to love the fireworks!”’
Frampton’s manager Barry McGuigan believes the Canadian has the potential to be a more dangerous proposition for his hot prospect.
Tough test: Molitor is a two-time world champion at super bantamweight
‘Steve has boxed at a higher level than Kiko so this is a much tougher fight for Carl – but the kind of fight we want him to be in,’ he said. ‘We could’ve looked further down the list of opponents and taken an easier fight but Carl wants to operate at world level and Molitor is certainly there.
‘Most importantly we’ve replaced one great fight with another so the Belfast fans are still going to see an incredible night of boxing topped by a brilliant main event – one that is possibly even more exciting that the Martinez fight and that’s what the fans deserve to see, Carl fighting a world class operator.’
Frampton and Molitor top a stacked bill with Martin Lindsay challenging Lee Selby for the British and Commonwealth featherweight titles. Paul McCloskey is aiming to get back on track after his defeat to DeMarcus Corley in May while Eamonn O’Kane also features alongside unbeaten Belfast prospects Jamie Conlan and Dee Walsh.
Team GB stars Scotty Cardle, Kal Yafai and Martin Ward all continue their pro education in Belfast.