Carl Frampton to fight Scot Darren Traynor in lightweight bout on Saturday

Carl Frampton
Frampton had initially hoped to fight Jamel Herring in a world title bout this summer

Carl Frampton is to fight Scot Darren Traynor in a 10-round lightweight contest on Saturday after his initial opponent had visa problems.

The issues forced Vahram Vardanyan to pull out of the bout last week.

Frampton's management company, MTK Global, have been paying Traynor to train for the past three weeks.

In the 10-round co-main event Frampton's fellow Belfast man Michael Conlan will face former world title challenger Sofiane Takoucht.

Conlan will be defending his 13-fight unbeaten record against the Frenchman.

Traynor, from Aberdeen, has nine years' experience as a professional and is a former two-weight Scottish champion who once challenged for the British super-featherweight title.

He has won 16 of his 19 fights, seven by KO, and was training as a potential fill-in opponent.

"The show must go on, and Carl needed a fight after a pretty long lay-off," said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.

"His goal is to become Ireland's first three-weight world champion, and after he's victorious on Saturday, we will do everything we can to give him that opportunity."

Darren Traynor
Darren Traynor had been training as a potential replacement opponent for Frampton

Frampton was due to meet WBO super-featherweight champion Jamel Herring in Belfast in June before the pandemic paused negotiations for that bout.

The two-weight world champion hopes to fight Herring later this year should he avoid defeat in his behind-closed-doors bout at York Hall.

The north Belfast man has not fought since beating Tyler McCreary in November.

Frampton said: "I'm delighted to get an opponent over the line. I have to credit MTK Global for seeing there could have been issues with the original opponent getting into the country.

"Darren will be in decent shape and will be up for it as well. There is no pressure on him, but it is up to me to look good. I want to be taking this guy out and then moving on to think about Jamel Herring.

"I can't be complacent in the slightest. I know I'm the big favourite in the fight, but I want to win and I want to win by knockout.

"I feel like he's a better opponent as he's fought at a higher level than Vardanyan, and he's coming in at lightweight. I haven't made my debut at junior lightweight yet and I'm already jumping in at lightweight, so that's obviously a little bit in his favour."

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