By Keith Idec
Carl Frampton’s confidence seems stronger than ever a couple days before his first fight with a new trainer and new promoter.
Frampton told his hometown Belfast Telegraph for a story posted to its website Thursday that he feels he can knock out any featherweight in the world. The former super bantamweight and featherweight champion will fight for the first time in 9½ months Saturday night, when Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs) will meet Mexico’s Horacio Garcia (33-3-1, 24 KOs) in a 10-round fight at SSE Arena in Belfast.
“I feel good,” Frampton said. “I don’t know what it is, but people are coming up in the street and talking about a spring in my step. I notice it and other people do, too. I know that the best is yet to come. I’ve done a lot in my career. Some would say I’ve overachieved, but I know I can become a world champion again. I know that I can beat any featherweight in the world on my day.
“I’ve won all my [six] fights at the SSE Arena by knockout and that’s what I’m hoping for on Saturday. Not to be disrespectful, but the way things are going, I can beat any featherweight in the world by stoppage.”
More than anything, the 30-year-old Frampton wants an opportunity to avenge his majority-decision defeat to Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs) in their 12-round WBA featherweight championship rematch January 28 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. He also is interested in facing Wales’ Lee Selby (25-1, 9 KOs), the IBF featherweight champion, and England’s Josh Warrington (26-0, 6 KOs).
First, though, Frampton wants to impress in his first fight since hiring Jamie Moore as his trainer and joining forces with promoter Frank Warren. The Frampton-Garcia bout will air as the main event of a three-fight telecast on BoxNation on Saturday (7:25 p.m. GMT/2:25 p.m. ET/11:25 a.m. PT).
“All these fights interest me, but Horacio Garcia is the only person on my mind at the minute,” Frampton said. “If you want to stereotype, he’s a typical Mexican fighter. He comes forward, he’s aggressive, he punches hard. He’s with a good team and he has a big entourage. I think they’re expecting a good performance.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.