EXCLUSIVE: Carl Frampton on what lies ahead in 2019
After three fights at home, Carl Frampton is set to venture into enemy territory for his upcoming IBF featherweight title clash.
Belfast's Frampton will meet Josh Warrington in the main event of next weekend's monster card in the Manchester Arena and there's more than a little bit of bad blood bubbling ahead of the opening bell.
'The Jackal' has been training out of Jamie Moore's gym in Astley in preparation for the fight but Leeds' Warrington will presumably enjoy the lion's share of the crowd support on December 22.
Warrington has not been shy with his attempts to get under Frampton's skin in the build-up to the grudge match, which can be seen on BT Sport Box Office, and while Frampton is not looking past his undefeated rival by any means, he is already looking forward to unification opportunities in 2019.
"This has given me the chance now to show what I've shown before," Frampton explained to SportsJOE.
"I beat guys like Leo Santa Cruz when I wasn't happy in boxing. Nowadays I'm loving boxing so wait and see me now!
"I'm getting the big fights, Josh Warrington being one and he's going to get taken out by the roots. The rest of them are as well and that's including Gary Russell Jr, Oscar Valdez and Leo Santa Cruz.
"I want another champion straight away.
"The Valdez fight is very appealing to me but it's not more important than Santa Cruz because that would be a trilogy fight with Santa Cruz, as well as a unification fight, so that's the one I want more than any other.
"But I don't think Leo is fighting until February which would probably rule him out until the summer again.
"I'd like to fight again around April and if Valdez is ready, I'll be more than ready. Valdez is a quality fighter and I think me against him would be an unreal fight. I think the fans would love it."
Frampton, who has lived a teetotal lifestyle since last Christmas in the hope of extending his fight career, most recently treated fans to his first finish in three years when he stopped Luke Jackson in the main event of August's Windsor Park showdown.
Frampton's next career step will all depend on the outcome of his clash with Warrington and while 'The Jackal' has his fingers crossed for another homecoming bout, he's also not afraid to travel.
"Potentially," Frampton said of Windsor Park hosting a unification fight in 2019.
"We do a bigger crowd there than we do anywhere else in the world. That would be a dream come true but I understand it can be complicated.
"Listen, I'm happy to travel as well. I enjoy travelling and I enjoy bringing support with me.
"I think Las Vegas would be another ideal place for that and I know that's pretty close to where he's based, in Los Angeles. I would do big numbers in Vegas and I know the lads like an away trip."
It's possible that fighters from this side of the Atlantic might have reservations about travelling abroad for big fights, particularly in the wake of the controversial split draw between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder at the beginning of the month.
A spotlight has been shone on judging in boxing in the wake of the draw, which most fans saw in favour of 'The Gypsy King'.
"If you're worrying about judging then you're not really in the right frame of mind," Frampton said.
"Everyone knows that Fury won that fight. Fury's coming out of that fight with more credit than Wilder because he should have got the decision.
"People know. Boxing fans aren't daft and if it's going to be a blatant robbery, people are going to see it for what it is so I wouldn't worry about judging when I travel."