by Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
CARL FRAMPTON is the “complete package” who can lift the European and IBF inter-continental super bantamweight titles.
So says ring legend Barry McGuigan as Frampton prepares to take on European beltholder Kiko Martinez at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena on September 22.
Former world featherweight champion McGuigan has no doubts about Belfast boy Frampton delivering the goods in style.
McGuigan, Frampton’s manager, said: “Carl is the full monty and a complete package. The show’s called ‘Judgement Day’ because it is Carl’s time to stand up and be counted.
“The stabilisers have been taken off Carl now. He’s done his apprenticeship and he’s ready to take the big fights. I’ve always believed Carl can beat this guy. Martinez is a world-class puncher, has a great chin, is very experienced and has only lost to the best in the world.
“He is coming over to Belfast to defend the title so he must be very confident but I am convinced Carl will do a job on him.
“We are not under-estimating him but I believe Frampton is better in every department and will show it.”
IBF champ Frampton has won all 14 of his paid fights, knocking out nine of his victims.
Frampton has defended his Commonwealth title in support slots in Nottingham and is thrilled to be headlining the biggest fight of his career in his own backyard.
He said: “It’s going to be a great fight and a great occasion, and the kind of big night Belfast fans love. I know he’s a great fighter but I believe that I will beat him.”
Spaniard Martinez, 26, has won 26 of his 29 fights and will be the toughest test yet for Frampton.
Martinez said: “Frampton’s a good fighter but I am the champion and I will retain the belt. I have respect for him but I know I can beat him.”
There’s a top-class undercard in Belfast, with Paul McCloskey aiming to get back on track after his defeat to DeMarcus Corley in May.
Eamonn O’Kane won the Betfair all-Irish Prizefighter tournament on the same bill in Belfast that night and he features on the card.
Former British featherweight champion Martin Lindsay and unbeaten flyweight prospect Jamie Conlan are also on the card.