By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
CARL FRAMPTON now believes less is more when it comes to his training.
Belfast’s two-weight world champion is working with new trainer Jamie Moore after splitting with mentor Barry McGuigan, whose son Shane trained him.
Frampton is now promoted by Frank Warren and faces Mexican Horacio Garcia at the SSE Arena on Saturday hoping to end a difficult year on a high.
After losing both his WBA world featherweight title and unbeaten record to Mexican Leo Santa Cruz on points in January, the Ulsterman was then left without a fight at a day’s notice in July.
The Jackal went on to split from the McGuigans, who had promoted and trained him, but he says he feels reborn at Moore’s Manchester gym, where he has reduced the amount of sparring.
He said: “I just feel rejuvenated. I’ve had a complete overhaul of everything.
“Everything has changed. Who knows how that could have gone? But I feel like that was the right decision for me at the time to move on with my career and now it’s turning out that it is, because I’m absolutely enjoying boxing.
“I just don’t have as many niggles. I used to spar a lot, over 200 rounds per camp and I just felt like it was a lot. I did enjoy it but you’re still taking a lot of punishment. I was having problems, almost like whiplash where you’re knocked about for 220 rounds.
“I was having these niggles up around my neck, my shoulders, my back.
“We’ve reduced the amount of sparring and made it quality rather than quantity and it seems to be working because I’ve done less than half the number of rounds I would normally spar. But when I did my last 10 rounds I was flying, as fit as I’ve ever been.
“People have made out that I’ve dropped the number of rounds I’ve been sparring to avoid problems after boxing but if you woke up worrying about taking a punch to the head in sparring then you’re in the wrong game.
“That’s not something I’m worried about – but I did feel it was a sizeable amount and there is no need to do it. Of course, I don’t want to be walking around punch-drunk and you can see that happening to fighters when they go on too long.
“Obviously I don’t want that to happen to me but that’s not the main reason. The main reason for reducing the rounds was to restrict the injuries so I could perform better.”
Given a new lease of life under Moore, retirement is further from the mind of Frampton, 30, than previously but he feels more support should be available for boxers after they hang up the gloves.
The Belfast fighter added: “There probably isn’t enough aftercare and that’s something to do with promoters and managers.
“You see it so many times, guys who are best friends with their promoters while they are winning and making money for everyone, they’re enjoying themselves. Then they have a bad night and a loss and that’s them on the scrapheap.
“They don’t hear from their managers or promoters or see them ever again. It’s a hard game and you have to put your life into it, so myself and other guys don’t have anything to fall back on if the boxing doesn’t work out because we have put everything we know and have into boxing.
“I was okay at school but I don’t have GCSEs or a trade behind me. So it’s vital fighters are looked after when their careers are over and not just thrown on the scrapheap.
“That can be something managers and promoters can help fighters with.”
Frampton, whose dream is to face Santa Cruz in a third fight at Windsor Park this summer, will also be hoping Northern Ireland can overturn a 1-0 deficit in the World Cup qualifier second leg in Switzerland.
He said: “It’s hard game — I would have preferred the Republic of Ireland’s draw, playing away first. “But I think we will do it in the second game, I really do.”