Two-division world champion Carl Frampton takes on Aussie contender Luke Jackson on Aug. 18 at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The two featherweights will battle for interim status for a secondary world title, and the fight will be presented live on BT Sport 1 in the UK as well as on Showtime’s YouTube and Facebook pages in the U.S. starting at 3:30 pm ET. Additionally, Tyson Fury’s fight against Francesca Pianeta will be presented as the undercard fight and also shown live on those channels.
Frampton, who will be fighting in front of his hometown at the home of his favorite football team, is a considerable favorite heading into the fight. William Hill has odds for Frampton at -5000 and Jackson at +1400. There are still some opportunities for boxing bettors to explore, just not a lot of value bets.
The 31-year-old Frampton (25-1, 14 KOs) is hoping a win against Jackson puts him in line for more world title opportunities.
Frampton has been one of the best boxers in the world over the last few years. He defeated Kiko Martinez for the IBF junior featherweight title in November 2014 and defended it twice before picking up the WBA belt against Scott Quigg to unify in February 2016.
After that, Frampton traveled across the pond to the US to put in the performance of his life and defeat Leo Santa Cruz for the WBA featherweight title via majority decision in July 2016.
The two fighters went on to an immediate rematch. The second fight was just as hotly contested, but this time Santa Cruz narrowly escaped with the win. Frampton has reeled off two victories since, both in Northern Ireland.
A win over Jackson should vault Frampton back in line to challenge the likes of Oscar Valdez (WBO) or Josh Warrington (IBF) for their versions of the featherweight title, or even earn him the rubber match against Santa Cruz (WBA) for his.
Jackson (16-0, 7 KOs) has never competed above the regional level. His bout versus Frampton will be the first time the 33-year-old has ever fought outside his native Australia as a professional, and based on past performances, it’s questionable whether he’ll be able to seriously compete in the fight.
Jackson’s best win came against former title challenger Humberto De Santiago in November 2017. While that kind of victory suggests he’s due at least some consideration for world title opportunities or higher level fights, his lack of experience on the world stage, coupled with his age, suggest he’s not really all that fit to be Frampton’s opponent at this point in his career.
He isn’t really considered a top prospect, and the lack of achievement he attained as an amateur, toiling for years to make Australia's Olympic team only to lose in the first round when he finally did, indicate the most likely scenario he’ll find himself in on Saturday against Frampton is a near hopeless situation.
Frampton is one of the best fighters around, so he should take care of Jackson relatively easily. Frampton is an excellent counterpuncher. He’s adept at timing his opponent’s advances and firing off combinations in response.
Jackson is an aggressive body puncher who likes to outwork his opponents. That kind of style has helped him achieve his current status in the sport, but against a fighter such as Frampton, he’ll find himself in trouble early and often in the fight with not very much to fall back on by way of alternative attacks.
The most likely outcome of the fight is Frampton by stoppage. He’ll likely drop Jackson at least once, and whether the blow comes from one good punch or the accumulation of many, Frampton’s near certain victory this weekend can probably only be hindered and made less absolute by the quality of Jackson’s chin.
Jackson probably doesn’t possess a world-class chin. Very few fighters in the history of boxing have been able to eat clean punches and smile as they move forward, so it’s foolish to pin hopes on that. Still, that’s Jacskon’s only real hope in the fight.
If he can take Frampton’s counterpunches, maybe he can make it to the final bell to hear what the judges say.
Frampton isn’t a devastating puncher. He hits hard enough to win but isn’t the type of fighter whose record is littered with first-round knockouts. The over/under for the bout at William Hill is 9.5 rounds. That makes sense because the fight will most likely end between Rounds 7 and 9.
It’s possible the bout could go on longer, but only if Jackson is absurdly tough and tremendously undervalued as a prizefighter. That probably isn’t the case.
Bouts such as Frampton-Jackson don’t come with lots of good value plays from bookmakers. Frampton is at least a level or two above Jackson, so the only way to pull in money on the underdog is by making the favorite so pricey that people start to dream about the unfathomable.
William Hill offers Frampton in Rounds 7-9 at +275. That’s probably the most reasonable expectation for the fight.
If you just happen to really believe in Jackson’s chin and heart, which is understandable considering the innate toughness he might possess after fighting the kinds of mental health battles he’s reportedly been dealt, betting on the bout going over 9.5 rounds could be the right move at +125.