Carl Frampton: World champion to fight Chris Avalos on 28 February

Chris Avalos vows that he will take Carl Frampton's world title in February

Carl Frampton's first defence of his IBF world super-bantamweight title against American Chris Avalos will take place in Belfast on 28 February.

As expected, the bout will be staged at the Odyssey Arena in Frampton's native city.

Frampton's promoter Barry McGuigan said that Avalos would represent "a tough, valid opponent" for the Belfast man.

Unbeaten Frampton, 27, beat former champion Kiko Martinez on points to secure the title in September.

Frampton suffered hand damage in that fight which took place at a specially erected outdoor venue in Belfast's Titanic Quarter but has recovered to resume training.

The Belfast man emerged victorious from a gruelling 12-rounder against Martinez to maintain his record of 19 straight wins.

Californian Avalos, 24, stopped Yasutaka Ishimoto in May to become the IBF's mandatory challenger for the title and since then he has beaten Jose Cen Torres to take his career statistics to 25 wins and two losses.

Speaking at a news conference in Belfast on Thursday, Californian Avalos, 24, predicted that he would knock out Frampton in "five or six rounds".

However, Frampton retorted by insisting that he would beat Avalos "convincingly".

"He's a good puncher with a good knockout percentage but he's been beaten twice before and he still hasn't fought anyone as good as me," said Frampton.

"That is going to be the difference on the night."

The American's two losses have come against Christopher Martin and Jonatan Romero and his defeat of Ishimoto in China is the only time he has fought outside the United States.

Frampton and his manager McGuigan will hope that a victory would open the door for a contest with WBA champion Scott Quigg next summer.