Although heavy favorite Carl Frampton will defend his interim featherweight title against Luke Jackson on Saturday, he is admittedly looking ahead to much bigger business down the road.
Frampton and Jackson will meet at Windsor Park, an outdoor stadium in Frampton's hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland, on a card Showtime will stream in the United States on its Facebook and YouTube platforms (4 p.m. ET), but Frampton has designs on better-known opponents.
As interim titleholder, Frampton is the mandatory challenger for full titleholder Oscar Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs), 27, of Mexico, who is sidelined because of a broken jaw suffered in a March defense against Scott Quigg. That's one fight Frampton said he wants; another is against England's Josh Warrington, who holds another of the 126-pound world titles. That fight would be massive in the United Kingdom.
Both are makeable fights, but a bout with Warrington (27-0, 6 KOs), 27, is probably bigger financially.
"The plan after Jackson is Oscar Valdez or Josh Warrington, which would be the easier to make because we are both promoted by Frank Warren," Frampton said. "Warrington and myself is more appealing to British sports fans, but It doesn't matter who I face. You could flip a coin to decide whether it is Warrington or Valdez."
Eventually, Frampton said he would like a rubber match with featherweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz, whom Frampton outpointed in a featherweight world title fight during his 2016 fighter of the year campaign before losing a close decision to him in the 2017 rematch.
"If I beat Jackson, then Warrington or Valdez, I will have a title and that puts me in a stronger position and ready to tackle Santa Cruz," Frampton said. "That might make him want to come to the table, negotiate and talk about the fight again. That is the fight that appeals to me more than any other."
Jackson (16-0, 7 KOs), 33, a 2012 Australian Olympian, said Frampton (25-1, 14 KOs), 31, is on the backside of his career after a lot of tough fights and shouldn't be looking past their bout.
"Across the board he is phenomenal, but I don't think he is as good as he once was," Jackson said. "In the first fight against Leo Santa Cruz he boxed out of his skin and deserved to win, but he hasn't looked the same since. Carl is a very good fighter who does everything good, but I don't honestly think he does anything great.
"We are going to punch each other in the head. I don't really care if what I say upsets him. I respect him as a fighter, I respect him as a man but I am coming to beat him, not coming over to be friends. I don't know if he wants me to call him a Hall of Fame fighter or the greatest, but I don't think he is. He is very beatable and I think I can beat him, simple as that."
The card will also feature former heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury, who will engage in the second fight of his comeback after 31 months out of the ring following his massive upset of Wladimir Klitschko to win the title in November 2015.
Fury (26-0, 19 KOs), 30, of England, will face former two-time title challenger Francesco Pianeta (35-4-1, 21 KOs), 33, an Italian-born southpaw based in Germany. A Fury victory likely would propel him into a November Showtime PPV fight in Las Vegas against heavyweight world titleholder Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs).