Belfast star Carl Frampton will now fight Scotland’s Darren Traynor in a 10-round lightweight bout on Saturday (August 15) at the BT Sport studios. Frampton was originally supposed to face Vahram Vardanyan, but visa issues forced the Armenian to pull out of the fight last week.

“The show must go on and Carl needed a fight after a pretty long lay-off,” said Top Rank Chairman and Frampton’s co-promoter 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.”

A relieved Frampton said, “I’m delighted to get an opponent over the line. I have to credit [management team] MTK Global for seeing there could have been issues with the original opponent getting into the country and they have been paying Darren Traynor for a number of weeks to train.

“He’ll 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 [WBO 130lbs champion] 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 want to look good, 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, but I’m looking forward to not having to struggle at all in fight week and then putting on an explosive show.”

Frampton’s co-promoter Frank Warren added: “Carl is gunning for a third world title at a third different weight and cannot afford any mishaps on Saturday night. Darren Traynor is ready to step in and fully prepared to give Carl the competitive fight he needs before heading into a WBO world championship battle against Jamel Herring, hopefully, later this year.” 

Traynor (16-3, 7 KOs) is a nine-year pro and former two-weight Scottish champion who once challenged for the British featherweight title. The Aberdeen man had already been training as a potential replacement opponent so, when the call came to fight Frampton, he was ready.