Carl Frampton will realise a career-long dream when he defends his WBO Interim World Featherweight Title against Luke Jackson on the pitch at Windsor Park, Belfast, on August 18, on a card that also features Paddy Barnes challenging for the WBC World Flyweight title and the second fight of Tyson Fury on the comeback trail.
The 31-year-old two-weight world champion Frampton, who rolled back the years with a mesmerizing performance to win the WBO belt against Nonito Donaire last time out at the SSE Arena in April, takes on the unbeaten Australian from Hobart in a bid to keep his ambitions to once again rule the featherweight roost on track.
The 33-year-old Jackson, 16-0, is the holder of the WBO Oriental Title, having previously held the WBA Oceania belt. He also captained the Australian boxing team at the 2012 London Olympics and won Commonwealth Games bronze in 2006.
Frampton acknowledges his challenger could be deemed something of an unknown quantity to fight fans in the Northern Hemisphere, but will in no way take victory on the night for granted.
“I imagine some people will have been expecting a different opponent, but the fact I am not fighting a world champion is the fault of nobody. Josh Warrington beating Lee Selby sort of threw a spanner in the works for us because I think Selby would’ve come to Belfast.
“Oscar Valdez is out injured, Gary Russell has just fought and Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares also just fought. That’s it really; the top guys just aren’t available. It is good for me to get a defence in here.
“This is a dream for me and it is something I have talked about for a long time. You never know what happens in this game, it could be the one and only time I get to fight at Windsor Park.
“It is going to be a special occasion for myself and my family. For the people who are going to come and watch it there is going to be a top quality undercard as well and I think it will be a night to remember for Belfast.
“There was talk of waiting, but I wanted to do it because opportunities like this don’t come around too often. It is a dream of mine, I wanted to do it and that is the be all and end all.”