Conlan changes mind, unwilling to face compatriot Frampton

Following a ninth-round stoppage of Diego Alberto Ruiz earlier this month, featherweight world title contender Michael Conlan said he was willing to face any of the top featherweights, including Carl Frampton and IBF world titleholder Josh Warrington.

Cross off one of those fighters.

Conlan (12-0, 7 KO’s), 27, is unwilling to face Frampton, who he considers a close friend. Both fighters hail from Belfast, the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland.

“I can put that [fight] to bed. That’s not happening,” he told BT Sport. “Carl and I are friends, and it wouldn’t be good for the city. It isn’t happening.”

Frampton also stated a year ago that he did not think a fight with his compatriot would ever take place.

“I probably won’t ever fight Michael Conlan because of the stages we are at in our career,” Frampton said.

“Mick is a friend of mine, a very good fighter but I think he’s just kicking off his pro career and I’m in the twilight of mine.

Perhaps Conlan could avenge a loss for his good pal. Frampton has not fought since December 2018 when he dropped a unanimous decision to Warrington.

Frampton was due to have the first fight of his newly signed co-promotional deal with Top Rank in the 10-round featherweight main event of the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ card last week at Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. However, he suffered a broken metacarpal in his left hand when someone in the lobby of the fight hotel accidentally bumped a concrete pillar, which fell through a curtain and smashed into a table that Frampton had his hands on.

Conlan is Ireland’s most decorated amateur boxer ever – a gold medalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2015 European Championships and the 2015 World Championships, and a bronze medalist at the 2012 Olympic Games. He returned for the 2016 Olympic Games but was eliminated controversially in the quarterfinals.

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