Carl Frampton made history on the grandest stage of his career to date at Barclays Center in New York on Saturday night (30 July), sensationally outpointing previously unbeaten WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz to become the first Northern Irish boxer ever to win world titles in two different divisions.
The Jackal, a former unified super-bantamweight title-holder managed by Barry McGuigan and trained by son Shane, said he wanted to be in a bout that people would remember and certainly achieved that goal in a definite Fight of the Year contender. So where exactly does Frampton go from here after such a significant achievement? IBTimes UK takes a look at his options...
Santa Cruz rematch
There has been some confusion over the last couple of days as to whether Santa Cruz's unsuccessful voluntary defence included a rematch clause. While Barry McGuigan has appeared to suggest that it was not part of the initial negotiations, Los Angeles Times boxing writer Lance Pugmire and USA Today are among the sources suggesting that it does indeed exist and that the Mexican is eager to invoke it immediately.
"It was a pretty tough fight but now I want a rematch," he said after his first career defeat. "I don't care where. He's a great champion and he's got a very difficult style. It's hard to forget your first loss but I will go back to the gym and get a rematch."
As with many of the possibilities on this list, Frampton is now in a position to command that any second contest takes place on home territory in Belfast.
Featherweight unification clash
Wales' IBF king Lee Selby was ringside in Brooklyn at the weekend and the fact that both fighters, along with Santa Cruz, are associated with Al Haymon make negotiations for a high-profile all-British affair far more straightforward. WBC champion Gary Russell Jr also falls under the mysterious and hugely powerful advisor's umbrella and could represent another genuine unification option.
Selby, who is open to fighting in either Cardiff or Belfast, recently told the BBC: "He's mentioned me a few times, sounds like he wants the fight. I want the fight and it shouldn't be too difficult to make."
The dust had barely settled on Frampton's incredible victory across the Atlantic when Rigondeaux took to social media to challenge him once again. The formidably powerful Cuban, considered one of the world's very best pound-for-pound fighters despite a persistent political struggle to lure big-name opponents, indicated a willingness to return to the UK for only the second time after emphatically stopping Jazza Dickens in a short but sweet defence of his WBA super-bantamweight title – the strap Frampton took from long-time rival Scott Quigg – last month.
"Congratulations to Carl Frampton," he wrote on Twitter. "I hope now we can settle our difference. I am available to travel to your hometown and do it there."
Frampton was quickly mandated by the WBA to fight Rigondeaux earlier this year, only to be stripped of the belt after failing to enter into negotiations. He subsequently relinquished his IBF title too in order to move up to featherweight and challenge Santa Cruz.
For many years it was virtually impossible to separate Frampton's career trajectory from that of Quigg and the long-time rivals finally squared off after years of build-up in a super-bantamweight unification showdown at the Manchester Arena in February. A dull and surprisingly lacklustre fight sadly did not live up to its lofty billing, however, with the Bury favourite suffering a fractured jaw en route to a controversial split decision loss.
Quigg underwent surgery after that forgettable night and is due to return to the ring in November. He has spoken frequently of his desire to avenge such a painful defeat and would be willing to make the same jump to 126lbs to make it happen. However, there is no doubt that his rivalry with Frampton lost most of its public appeal following a timid first meeting and there was no rematch clause in the contract.