Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton invites Oceania title holder Luke Jackson for a shot at his featherweight interim title this weekend at Belfast’s Windsor Park.
Frampton won the vacant WBA interim featherweight title against Nonito Donaire back in April and will now defend it against an opponent who has never lost a professional fight, with a record of 16-0-0.
The Australian has done well in Hobart but it can’t be overlooked that this clash with Frampton, who is widely regarded as the leading contender in the featherweight division, is a completely different affair.
Our Grosvenorsport.com boxing expert gives us their best Boxing bets ahead of the contest.
Jackson in over his head
Jackson only put on a pair of boxing gloves for the first time at the age of 18 but he had a natural affinity for it, winning a bronze medal in the 2006 Commonwealth Games and then making the Olympics.
He suffered a poor first-round loss there though and is still yet to come up against anyone who boxes at a level quite like Frampton, with his best wins to date coming against Silvester Lopez, Humberto de Santiago and John Mark Apolinario.
Frampton is quicker and stronger, although Jackson has a strong defence going for him along with one other advantage – he is bigger. The Aussie can be backed to use this to his advantage at 11/1 with Grosvenorsport.com to take a surprise victory.
The an inch-and-a-half in height and six inches of reach that he has on Frampton could certainly help him make a decent show of himself but, ultimately, it would only be delaying the inevitable.
Everything else is in favour of the prolific Irishman and he can be backed as the heavy 1/50 favourite.
Jackson a stepping stone to silverware
Fighting in a football stadium in his own hometown against an opponent that he should ease past, he’ll certainly have the crowd behind him. But there will be some extra pressure on Frampton to take the victory.
A win against Jackson could be enough to secure the WBO interim featherweight champion a fight with the full-title holder, Oscar Valdez, in late 2018 or early 2019, so this fight is more than just a filler for Frampton.
There has certainly been a build-up to the contest, with Frampton openly saying that he’s bored of Jackson’s digs and plans to shut him up by putting him to sleep early and, with his healthy KO record, that just might happen.
At 11/1, I’d put money on it coming in the fourth round as Jackson starts to show signs of flagging against Frampton’s staying power, while a first-round knock-out would give better returns if you’re willing to take the punt at 20/1.