Frampton, who defeated Scott Quigg last month to unify the super-bantamweight belts, has been announced by US network Showtime as facing Leo Santa Cruz this summer in a move up to the 126 pound limit.
WBN asked the IBF if any correspondence had been forthcoming from Frampton’s manager Barry McGuigan or Cyclone Promotions on their future plans, which would effectively leave the IBF crown vacant.
“We have not been officially informed of Carl Frampton’s decision. As far as we know, he will do the IBF mandatory,” IBF Chairman Lindsey Tucker exclusively told World Boxing News.
Number one-ranked Shingo Wake is the opponent Frampton has to face next unless he decides to give up the title to pursue that massive Santa Cruz fight in America. Should ‘The Jackal’ leave the red belt behind, as expected, Mexican Rey Vargas would then be offered the opportunity to fight Wake for the vacant strap.
“Under IBF Rules, if the title is vacant, we order the two highest ranked available contenders to fight for the title (Wake and Vargas).”
Belfast-born Frampton’s recent rival Quigg is currently rated at number five with the IBF, which gives him an outside chance of challenging for the title once he recovers from injury, although should Vargas and number four-rated Albert Pagara give up the chance to face Wake, Tucker confirmed that Quigg would be bypassed due to the broken jaw he suffered against Frampton.
“It’s my understanding that Scott is recovering from a broken jaw. That means he would be unavailable to fight for the vacant title under our rules,” he stated.
Currently sitting behind Quigg is American Jessie Magdaleno, although the undefeated southpaw has recently been campaigning at featherweight.
This week, Frampton, who also holds the WBA title, received his MBE award for services to boxing – which makes the world champion a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
A clash with Guillermo Rigondeaux has also been stipulated by the World Boxing Association for Frampton, although McGuigan has already ruled that out for this year.