By Jake Donovan
In his quest to return to the title stage, Carl Frampton caught a break—just not the type that leads to anything positive.
The former two-division titlist suffered an untimely hand injury on Monday, a source from within the boxer’s camp has informed BoxingScene.com.
The severity of the injury is still to be determined, but is enough to force him out of Saturday’s ESPN+ headliner in Philadelphia, Pa.
Representatives from event promoters Top Rank and Peltz Boxing declined comment when asked for verification. Inquiries to MTK Global, Frampton’s management team went unreturned as this goes to publish.
For now, the show is believed to go on with what’s left on the undercard, although event handlers similarly declined comment on that subject as well.
Former 130-pound titlist Jason Sosa ( is currently slated to command the chief support, but the Camden (N.J.) knockout artist could receive an upgrade to main event for his scheduled crossroads bout with fringe contender Haskell Lydell Rhodes.
Frampton was due to face Mexico’s Emmanuel Dominguez (26-8-2, 18KOs) in his first fight since signing with Top Rank earlier this year. The bout would have been the fourth appearance in the United States for the Belfast, Northern Ireland product and first in boxing-rich Philadelphia.
It will now have to come another day, as will his first fight of 2019. Frampton has not fought since a competitive but clear points loss to unbeaten featherweight titlist Josh Warrington last December, marking the first time since 2013 he both began and ended a year without a major title around his waist.
Frampton claimed a 122-pound title in 2014, making three successful defenses including a 12-round win over longtime bitter rival Scott Quigg in their Feb. 2016 unification bout. The win kicked off what would become a Fighter of the Year campaign for the charismatic boxer, who moved up in weight to hand Leo Santa Cruz his first career loss, lifting the featherweight title in the process in their July 2016 thriller in Brooklyn, New York.
It was his last title win, as Frampton suffered his own first defeat in his very next fight when Santa Cruz came up aces in their Jan. 2017 rematch in Las Vegas. Frampton returned to the United Kingdom where he has fought in each of his last four bouts, including a 12-round over four-division titlist Nonito Donaire last April.
In a strange twist of fate, Donaire—beltless at the time—reclaimed a major title afterward, dropping down in weight to score an injury stoppage win over bantamweight titlist Ryan Burnett last November.
Frampton’s name has been mentioned among virtually every major titlist at featherweight and super featherweight. It’s possible that he can still land such a fight later this year; it just won’t come with the benefit of an ESPN+ streamed showcase this weekend.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox