By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
CARL FRAMPTON is aiming to thrill his way to a world title shot against WBC champ Leo Santa Cruz.
The Belfast super-bantamweight takes on durable Mexican Hugo Cazares tonight in a final eliminator for a shot at Santa Cruz later this year.
Frampton, 27, wants to become the first man to stop 36-year-old veteran Cazares since 1999 and promised fans he is out to win in style.
He said: "I'm looking to look impress and get the win first and foremost, but I want to get rid of this guy and I honestly think that I will.
"It is very, very important to look good and be impressive and win as well.
"Most of the fans just want to see blood and guts - that's the truth. That's just the harsh reality if you like."
Victory over Cazares will put Frampton into the mandatory position to face Mexico's two-weight world champion Santa Cruz, who has already called out the Northern Irish boxer.
Frampton's manager Barry McGuigan is keen to get the world title fight in Belfast in an open-air stadium and is confident he could sell around 20,000 tickets for a special night in the boxing-mad city.
The former European champion is also happy to travel to America to take on Santa Cruz but is not taking his focus off Cazares just yet.
Frampton said: "Santa Cruz has been talking about me as much as I've been talking about him, which is great - it doesn't usually happen that way, that the champion is calling the challenger out.
"But in saying that, Cazares is the man up first and if I don't win, then there is no Santa Cruz fight or potentially any other big fights."
Much has been made of a possible domestic dust-up between Frampton and WBA champion Scott Quigg with the pair seemingly on course to meet.
But McGuigan has questioned if Quigg's team and promoter Eddie Hearn really wants the fight to happen.
He said: "They need to stop messing around and get serious. If they want it, stop fooling around with us.
"We've given up all of that and we're going for the hardest fight for Carl as Santa Cruz is in a different league to Quigg."
* Carl Frampton vs. Hugo Cazares is live on BoxNation (Sky 437/490HD & Virgin 546) tonight at 6pm. Visit www.boxnation.com to subscribeTags: Hugo Cazares , Carl Frampton , Frampton-Cazares , Frampton vs. Cazares