Carl Frampton has told Kiko Martinez that he will pay for pulling out of two fights with him as he plans to rip the European super bantamweight title from his possession in Betfair’s ‘Unfinished Business’ live on Sky Sports from the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on Saturday February 9.
Frampton has been denied two hometown shots at the Spaniard after the champ withdrew through injury but now he gets his crack in front of a packed Arena and the 26 year old has warned Martínez that he is a much better fighter than when they first were due to meet.
“Waiting has really frustrated me,” said Frampton a 1-5 favourite with Betfair to beat the Spaniard. “The first time he pulled out with about 10 days’ notice, the second time he was kind enough to give us five weeks to get another opponent. It has frustrated me that it has taken until now for it to happen. I believe I could have been European champion when I was originally meant to fight him in my 11th fight, but it is just going to be worse for him because I am a better fighter than I was then and he is going to be in for a world of pain.
“It is a big fight, a big chance for me to look good, with his European title on the line and my IBF Inter-Continental title too. It has been a long time coming and I am excited about it, I can’t wait, I think it is going to be a great crowd who will make a lot of noise in the Odyssey.”
Frampton’s last outing in this Arena was his finest performance to date as he decimated former World champion Steve Molitor in clinical style in September. Pundits and fans were impressed by Frampton’s five-round display – but Martínez, who is 5-1 with Betfair to end The Jackal’s unbeaten run, has dismissed the win, suggesting Molitor was a spent force and predicts that he will be Carl inside the distance.
Frampton hasn’t taken the bait – but believes he has the measure of Martínez and thinks a win over the European king would catch the eye of the super bantamweight World champions.
“I will bite my tongue and we will see on fight night, I will let my fists do the talking,” said Frampton, who today was today presented with the Betfair IBWA Boxer of the Year award for 2012 by the Irish Boxing Writers' Association (IBWA). “It is going to be a tough night for him. I just say that he needs to remember that he pulled out of me twice. He sounds a bit like a desperate man to be honest, he is predicted all of these things and making these bold statements.
“I think that he only has one style, which is come forward and be aggressive. He is a big puncher and he is dangerous but I think I can box off the back foot, I can out fight this guy if I want, I can stand and trade with him, I can outman him, I can outpunch him.
“I am very confident, I am always confident in my own ability, I go into every fight believing that I can win and there is no difference with this one. I have trained really, really hard for this fight. I have had a long camp, we have done probably 200 rounds of sparring, I am in the best shape I have ever been in and I need it to be like that because I know it is going to be a really tough one.
“An impressive win could make the boys at the top of the division stand up and take notice. I am not looking past Martínez; he is a better fighter than he has been in the last few years. He has been in America training for this, taking it seriously. But he is not going to suddenly turn into Sugar Ray Leonard having been in America for a few months. It will be the same Kiko Martínez, a little bit sharper and a little bit fitter but I am 100 per cent confident that I am going to get the win here.
“I am better in every department. He sees himself as a big puncher but I believe I am a bigger puncher, I don’t think he has been hit by anybody who can punch harder than me. I think I am a better boxer than him, I can outfight him, in every single department I am a bit better than this guy and I will prove it on Saturday.”
Martinez and Frampton clash on a massive night of boxing in Belfast, with Martin Lindsay challenging Lee Selby for the British and Commonwealth super featherweight titles and Andy Lee facing Dublin’s Anthony Fitzgerald in a ten-round middleweight clash on a top class undercard.
Super flyweight prospect Jamie Conlan faces Mike Robinson in a British and Commonwealth title eliminator while former Prizefighter champions Eamonn O’Kane and Martin Rogan, former European middleweight champion Grzegorz Proksa, former Team GB star Callum Smith and unbeaten Belfast trio Marco McCullough, James Fryers and Daniel McShane also feature.
Tickets for Betfair’s ‘Unfinished Business’ featuring Carl Frampton vs. Kiko Martinez at the Odyssey Arena on Saturday February 9 are on sale now. Floor and tiered seats are on sale from the Odyssey Arena website www.odysseyarena.com priced £30, £40 and £60, while Ringside tickets at £100 and Inner-Ringside VIP tickets at £150 are both available from Matchroom Boxing’s website www.matchroomboxing.com.