Frampton collides with Traynor over 10-rounds at lightweight, live on BT Sport, on August 15 behind closed doors in Stratford, London.
BBN’s Editor, Tim Rickson, previewed the entire six-fight card:
Carl Frampton vs Darren Traynor
‘The Jackal’ vs ‘The Train-Wreck’
Chasing supremacy, Carl Frampton (37-2, 15KOs) has his 30th contest against three-weight Scottish Area champion Darren Traynor (16-3, 7KOs).
‘The Jackal’, 33 from Belfast, is on a collision course with WBO World super-featherweight champion Jamel Herring (21-2), who defends his belt for the second time to Puerto Rican challenger Jonathan Oquendo (31-6) on September 5 in Las Vegas.
Frampton is fuelled by a burning desire to leave a legacy as Ireland’s greatest ever fighter. His quest to become a triple champion is currently on the right track after comprehensively defeating unbeaten American Tyler McCreary (then 16-0-1) in his last bout in November last year.
Armenian Vahram Vardanyan (21-1-1) was originally scheduled to face Frampton, but travel restrictions in place destroyed that chance and Scotsman Traynor stepped up to the plate instead.
The ‘Train-Wreck was an outstanding amateur, claiming seven national titles as well as the Golden Gloves in America. As a pro, he has won Scottish Area titles in three different weight categories.
Whenever the 33-year-old Scot has stepped up a level, he hasn’t been able to produce the goods. He lost to Ryan Walsh (19-1-1) when challenging for the British featherweight belt; then to James Tennyson (19-2) with the WBA International super-featherweight title on the line.
His third and most recent defeat was when he travelled abroad to Spain to occupy the away corner against former European super-featherweight champion Juli Giner (22-3-1).
All three of his Scottish Area championship contests finished inside the distance – in rounds six, seven and eight.
He possesses a sharp jab, throws plenty of one-twos, he’s busy and tries to counter often, but he doesn’t move his head well enough, which was evident in his fight with Tennyson when he was hit way too often.
He is as tough as they come, however. When Tennyson floored him in the opening of seconds of the second round, Traynor swung back and stood toe-to-toe with the hard-hitting Irishman despite clearly being shaken and hurt. He even managed to stun his attacker with a left hook of his own and he continued to battle back bravely and saw out the round, against the odds. Even with his back to the ropes, he continued to throw back and trade, but in the third round he was taken off his feet with a strong right hand and couldn’t carry on.
Against Ryan Walsh, the difference in quality was clear to see, as the British champ picked his punches well towards a fifth-round stoppage win.
The fight between a two-weight world champion and a three-weight Scottish Area titlist is exactly as it appears – a mismatch.
Frampton selects his shots well, is composed and confident, and will likely close the gap between them to land his well-timed, accurate body blows.
Frampton should win by stoppage against the Scotsman, but it’s hard to tell how long it will take to break the ‘Train-Wreck’ down. Walsh and Tennyson did the business between rounds three to five, so you could predict logically that Frampton could force a finish in round four.
Archie Sharp vs Jeff Ofori
‘Sharpshooter’ vs ‘Jeffy’
Welling’s Archie Sharp (18-0, 9KOs) defends his WBO European super-featherweight title for the fourth time to Londoner Jeff Ofori (10-2-1, 3KOs).
‘Sharpshooter’s’ quartet of successful defences has pushed him up to the number four spot with the World Boxing Organisation, in touching distance of a WBO World title shot at the aforementioned champion Jamel Herring.
The 25-year-old has overcome some good names already during his five-year 18-fight career, such as Lyon Woodstock Jr (11-0); British and Commonwealth title contender Jordan McCorry (18-5-1); as well as 12-time Irish amateur champion Declan Geraghty (19-4), now retired.
It’s unclear as to whether Sharp is ready for the step up to world level yet and his next opponent won’t add any clarity to that either.
‘Jeffy’, 30 from Tottenham, was last seen in the Golden Contract semi-finals where he put up a spirited fight against hard-hitting Hackney star Ohara Davies (21-2), which ended in the sixth round.
Ofori’s level is at around Southern Area, where he won the lightweight honours in his eighth contest with a wide points win over the titleholder Jumanne Camero (6-2). He conceded that belt to outstanding amateur Alfie Price (6-0) in his only defence in September last year, where he was comprehensively outclassed.
His quarter-final win to set up the semis against ‘OD’ was actually scored a draw against Welsh Area super-lightweight champion Kieran Gething (9-2-1), but the third man in the ring, Kieran McCann, was called upon to put his winner through and he chose Ofori.
Sharp and Ofori have spent countless rounds of sparring together so know each other well, which should help Jeff in this fight, because he is a level below his opponent.
It’ll be a different experience for both boxers with no crowds to draw energy from, but unbeaten Archie Sharp should be able to utilise his greater skills to prevail in this contest and keep his dream of a world title shot alive.
Troy Williamson vs Harry Scarff
‘Trojan’ vs ‘Hammer Time’
Darlington's Troy Williamson (14-0-1, 11KOs) defends his IBF European super-welterweight title to former English champion Harry Scarff (8-1, 1KOs).
The 28-year-old County Durham champion is a stylish fighter that can fight in a variety of different ways and doesn't mind when his opponents pressurise him. He has stopped six of his last ring rivals but his 16th competitor has a win over Jack flatley, who was the one man that Troy couldn't defeat.
It's an intruiging contest, but one that 'Trojan' should be able to win.
Michael Conlan vs Sofiane Takoucht
‘Belfast Ace’ vs ‘Baby Face’
Irish superstar, Michael Conlan (13-0, 7KOs), 28 from Belfast, tackles former European champion Sofiane Takoucht (35-4-1, 13KOs).
'Leeds Warrior' Josh Warrington (30-0) blasted the Frenchman out of his third IBF World title defence in just two rounds, becoming the first man to stop Takoucht. Unbeaten Warrington is known for his fast starts, so this doesn't provide an indication that Conlan can do the same even though he has the same amount of knockouts as Josh but in less than half the contests.
The Frenchman hasn't had a significant win since 2012 when he captured the European EU belt against Davide Dieli (11-2) on a split decision, although he did win the IBF International in 2017 then defended successfully in 2018.
Conlan should be able to deal with the experienced southpaw handily. In his last four 10-round contests, he has been made to do 39 rounds, with just the one stoppage in the ninth-round. It remains to be seen if Conlan can stop the fight early or whether it will go the 10-rounds distance.
Dennis McCann vs Brett Fidoe
‘The Menace’ vs ‘The Threat’
One of Frank Warren's hottest young prospects, Dennis McCann (6-0, 4KOs), gets a real acid test against one of Britain's best journeymen, Brett Fidoe (13-63-5, 6KOs), who is a real handful in every single fight and has only been stopped once in over 80 fights.
McCann has been likened to Prince Naseem, and has been picked my many as a future world champion already.
Two stoppages came in the first round, the other two I the second. He starts blisteringly fast and if Fidoe can make it through an early storm, then he should make it to the distance.
Paddy Donovan vs Des Newton
‘Real Deal’ vs ‘The DEStroyer’
Limerick's Paddy Donovan (3-0, 2KOs) also has a tough test awaiting him in the shape of Devon's Des Newton (8-15, 2KOs).
'DEStroyer' has only been stopped once in 23 bouts whch was due to a large swelling appearing under his right eye, after hitting the deck twice against Maidstone's Sam Noakes (3-0), who has stopped all his opponents so far.
Paddy has stopped two of three foes and will be looking to the same to make a statement in his fourth fight.