LUKE Jackson will challenge Carl Frampton for his version of a featherweight title at Windsor Park on Sunday morning.
The unbeaten former Olympian (16-0, 7 KOs) will need to put in a career-best performance to wrestle gold from Frampton (25-1, 14 KOs), who has held world titles in two divisions, while also being THE RING Magazine Fighter of the Year in 2016.
We spoke to our panel of industry insiders to get their thoughts on the interim title meeting.
Jayde Mitchell, Super Middleweight – Record: 0-2
Jackson W12 Frampton: I’m extremely biased as I love Jacko’s mindset and the way he carries himself as a great ambassador for our sport. This is Luke’s dream and I’m all about the fairytale ending in this one.
I feel as though Frampton is looking past Jacko, who will be more than prepared for the upset.
Adam Wilcock, Promoter/Manager – Record: 20-13
Jackson W12 Frampton: It may be said that Luke has never fought anyone like Frampton. That’s true, but what’s also true is that Luke has ticked every box along the way, he’s fully fit without niggles for the first time in years.
More importantly, this is a fight that trainer Billy Hussein wanted. Jacko to win in a career defining performance.
Chris McCullen, Trainer – Record: 6-7
Frampton W12 Jackson: My heart says Luke Jackson, but it’s going to be a big ask traveling to the other side of the world. Luke is a very experienced boxer with a great cornerman in Billy Hussein so he’ll have a good crack.
I think Frampton’s caliber of opposition has been stronger and being in Frampton’s home town will be the difference. It should be a great fight and hopefully Luke proves me wrong.
Neil Devey, Journalist – Record: 7-6
Frampton UD12 Jackson: No disrespect to Luke Jackson but Carl Frampton all the way in a wide points win.
Tony Tolj, Manager – Record: 2-0
Frampton UD12 Jackson: I see Carl Frampton beating a galant Luke Jackson, who will get everything he has for the fight.
I just see the experience of ‘The Jackal’ being the difference. I see a wide decision, but Jacko doing his country proud nonetheless.
Micky Capparelli, Betelgeuse Films – Record: 2-1
Frampton TKO8 Jackson: It has been well documented in the UK media that is has been a long time since Frampton has scored a knockout, so it’s clear Frank Warren and his team have brought Luke Jackson in as an opponent to look good and hopefully score a knockout.
Luke Jackson is game, lives in the gym and has appeared to be very composed in the days leading up to the fight. I predict Jackson will bring it to Frampton but ultimately, Frampton’s experience against top tier opponents will ultimately lead him to a late stoppage of a brave Jackson.
George Kambosos Jr, Lightweight – Record: 1-0
Jackson W12 Frampton: This is a super tough ask and challenge for Jackson, going into the lion’s den at Windsor Park.
Big ups to him for taking this chance to bring home an interim world title. If Luke can survive the first couple rounds – where Carl will be looking to make a statement – and block out the crowd, I think he has a great chance to box, get into his groove and frustrate Carl.
Not many are giving him a chance, but I’ll back him for a super close points decision.
Cody Kaye, Journalist for Fox Sports – Record: 7-7
Frampton W12 Jackson: As an amateur, Luke Jackson fought and beat some genuine top level talent. But he’s the first to admit Carl Frampton is a massive step up in class, having never really been tested since turning professional in 2013.
I hate to say it, but I believe that lack of experience against elite opposition will cost Luke here. Frampton is a great fighter, and at home defending his title he’ll be too good.
Matt Clark, Manager/Advisor – Record: 16-5
Frampton W12 Jackson: Would absolutely love to see Jacko get it done, he’s one of the hardest workers in the game. That being said, it’s hard to go past Frampton on home territory.
Brendan Bourke, Manager/Advisor to DiBella Entertainment – Record: 20-8
Frampton W12 Jackson: Many Aussies, including me, are hoping Luke Jackson can pull off the upset and be the second Aussie to win a world title within the week. According to the bookies the margins are wide in favour of Carl Frampton and rightly so.
Frampton has been performing at the top level for several years and looks to be a sure thing come fight night.
Gareth Williams, Trainer – Record: 15-12
Frampton W12 Jackson: My heart says Jacko, but my head says Frampton. Luke Jackson is an amazing athlete and one of the most dedicated fighters you will ever come across and his partnership with Billy Hussein is a great one.
I believe Frampton is too experienced at world level at this stage for Luke though. I hope he can prove me wrong as I’ll be up early cheering him along for the victory.
Brett Bonetti, Journalist for 6PR – Record: 9-5
Frampton UD12 Jackson: This is a great matchup. Luke Jackson is very crafty and technically sound, while Frampton is very experienced and fought and beaten some great fighters. I think Frampton wins by unanimous decision.
George Reno, Trainer – Record: 20-7
Frampton W12 Jackson: This is a great fight. I think Luke Jackson will put up some resistance early, but as the fight progresses Frampton will show his class and win on points.
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