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Published: 09:47 | 26/3/19

Exclusive: Frampton eyes world title shot

Carl Frampton believes he can still be a world champion after briefly flirting with the idea of hanging up his gloves.

Frampton announced his retirement after his unanimous points defeat to IBF featherweight world champion Josh Warrington in December but he will return to the ring after signing a multi-bout deal with Top Rank.

The Belfast man admits that he did not want to end his career on such a low and is setting his sights on a world title bout in the near future.

"It was a pretty brutal fight that I lost against Josh, he was a deserved winner. In the changing room I was a retired fighter and I went home and told my wife that I was done. I think I told my kids as well but I changed my mind after that," Frampton told The Fighter on eir sport.  

"Just thinking about it in hindsight it wasn't a good performance but I have had a very good career and I wouldn't like to be remembered and go out on a fight like that because I still believe there are big performances in me."

Frampton is eager to get another shot at the world title and is open to fighting one of the bigs guys straight away, but accepts it might be best to have one fight beforehand.

"I have spoken to MTK about it and it is a difficult one. I have said that I'm ready to fight guys like Leo Santa Cruz and Gary Russell and Oscar Valdez too," he explained.

"I'm ready to go straight back in this summer. But there is a potential to have a fight first, which maybe wouldn't be a bad thing either, but I am doing this because I still believe I can win a world title.

"I didn't perform against Josh Warrington, I was comprehensively beaten, but I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't think I could win a world title again."

When asked if he would like to fight Warrington, Santa Cruz or Oscar Valdez next, Frampton added: "Give me a choice of any of them. I think Santa Cruz because it is one each - that would make a lot of sense but if I get the chance to have a crack at any champion again I would.

“I have just fought Warrington and he has his mandatory with Kid Galahad is coming up, Santa Cruz could happen, Valdez could happen, Gary Russell I don't really know what is going on with him. I would be very happy to fight someone like Gary Russell but he has been very quiet. But Santa Cruz is probably the one I would take."

Despite his comprehensive loss to Warrington, Frampton insists he has moved on and is confident he still has what it takes to compete at the top.

"I don't think my confidence has been dented. I lost a fight and that's what happens at the top end of sport, especially when you are not performing," he stated.

"Initially it probably was but I am over it. I think I know why and where I went wrong. You get a bit of stick about it and people like to slate you when you are down but things happen and I've moved on from that."

Getty Images/Alex Livesey

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