LUKE Jackson couldn’t have picked a bigger platform for his maiden world title challenge.
It was confirmed on Monday night in front of an enthusiastic media gathering that the well-travelled Tasmanian will meet former two-division world champion and 2016 RING Magazine Fighter of the Year Carl Frampton for his interim WBO featherweight championship on August 18th.
The pair will headline a stacked bill at Windsor Park in Belfast, Ireland, with an assumed 20,000 spectators in attendance, topping a card that will also boast the second leg of Tyson Fury’s highly anticipated return following an extended stint on the sidelines.
As Jackson’s team admits, led by career-long promoter Adam Wilcock of Melbourne-based Fightcard Promotions, the world title challenge has been months in the making.
“With Luke now rated at number five with the WBO, a shot at a world title is now a reality,” said Wilcock in an interview with Aus-Boxing.
“The boxing world is a small one and whilst Luke continues to train hard in preparation, the hard work continues behind the scenes to make his dream a reality.”
“We were close to securing a March fight against Oscar Valdez and were right in the conversation. Ultimately, Top Rank were very open about wanting what they perceived as being a bigger name, and got that in previous world titleholder Scott Quigg,”
“The injury [suffered by Valdez] is unfortunate and does delay our push in trying to secure the fight with Valdez. It has though opened up the road to a world title through Carl Frampton.”
It doesn’t get any BIGGER for @LukeJackson 👀
— Aus-Boxing.com (@ausboxing) June 18, 2018
In Frampton (25-1, 14 KOs), Jackson is facing an established force at world level, who might just be reaching the prime of his career under new head trainer Jamie Moore. Despite having scored a litany of high-profile wins, including scalps over Leo Santa Cruz, Scott Quigg, Kiko Martinez and more recently Nonito Donaire, Wilcock likes the stylistic match-up proposed to his fighter.
“Frampton in many ways is a better fight for Luke and when it comes in August, he’ll be ready.” he explained.
“Luke has travelled the world as an amateur and in his professional training, so whilst some may say he’s still untested, I’d say look at his amateur record and show him the respect that an Olympian and Commonwealth Games representative deserves.”
After five years in the punch-for-pay ranks, the 33-year-old Jackson (16-0, 7 KOs) is relishing the opportunity to challenge a credentialed champion on such a grand stage.
“It doesn’t get much bigger than this. To be fighting a two-weight world champion in his backyard and in front of 20,000 screaming Irish fans,” added Jackson.
“I’ve come from rags to riches, literally. I’ve worked my whole life for this opportunity. I always believed it would happen. Even when others didn’t, I stayed focused, dedicated and always stayed in the gym. From a high school drop-out to Olympic captain and now a world title shot.”
“I’m going there to win this fight and bring the belt home to my dad.”