By Terence Dooley
Belfast’s Carl “The Jackal” Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs) dismissed talk of a possible Lee Selby showdown earlier today when telling the assembled press in his hometown that he is solely focussed on the challenge presented by Mexico’s Andres Gutierrez (35-1-1, 25 early) at the city’s SSE Arena on Saturday night.
Frampton lost his ‘0’ and the WBA Super World featherweight title in his rematch with Leo Santa Cruz in January, which took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and hopes to bounce back from that decision defeat in order to earn another world title shot. The former IBF and WBA World Super Super-bantamweight titlist has been linked with Selby and a few others this week, but he is keen to avoid complacency and believes that Gutierrez poses a real threat.
“I want to focus on Andres, I don’t want to talk about anyone else or look at other guys until I’ve had this fight,” admitted Frampton.
The fight takes place live on Channel 5 here in the UK. Promoter Barry McGuigan believes that we could be in for a tour de force performance from his charge.
“We are very much looking forward to this Saturday, it is going to be a tremendous fight,” he said.
“Carl suffered his first professional defeat last time, and has to show his drive and determination to win again. I believe he will win spectacularly and go on to win a world title again. He is one hundred percent ready after a great training camp.”
Shane McGuigan, Frampton’s trainer, echoed his father’s sentiments when asked how the camp had gone.
“We are ready, confident and it is a different dynamic coming back from the loss Carl suffered,” he said.
“He has the bit between his teeth, wants to get back to the big stage and has to beat Andres to do that. We relish the big fights, like [Scott] Quigg and Cruz, and want to get them back. Andres is a good fighter, a good puncher, but he is not on the level of Carl.”
He added: “We want the win, first and foremost, but we also want him to look like the force that he can be and make a statement. The moment you stop or don’t want to learn is the day you should hang up the gloves, he is striving for perfection and wants to continue to learn. I think you’ll see an explosive performance.”
Gutierrez is trained by Jorge Barrera, the brother of Mexico legend Marco Antonio Barrera, he thanked the opposing team and Belfast fans for their hospitality before saying: “Jorge is ready for the fight, has been training really hard and is ready to win.”
“We are ready for this fight,” reiterated Gutierrez. “It has been tough in training, the first part was in high altitude then in Mexico City, also high level training, so it has been difficult. Because of this I am confident about being able to win this fight. All this training has brought me here. We are ready, we are very confident about this fight.”
The last words were left to Frampton, who believes that his fans both push him over the line and intimidate his opponents as they make their way to the ring. “I’ve said it so many times about the atmosphere in Northern Ireland not being created anywhere else in the world,” stated Frampton.
“No matter what opponents say, it must have an effect on them. It has a positive effect on me so must have a negative one on them...I’m happy to be fighting in Belfast again, who knows what happens in this game but I want to get back home as often as possible.
“Andres has had more knockouts than I’ve had wins. I saw someone Tweet to me the other day that he was 5-0 before his 16th birthday so they breed them tough in Mexico. If he beats me he becomes a big name in boxing, I won’t let that happen. This is my city, I’m the boss and I won’t let him win.”
Like his trainer, the 30-year-old wants more big fights nights yet vowed to eat what is on his plate rather than trying to think one or two fights ahead. He said: “I’ve tasted the big nights in Las Vegas, New York, Belfast and Manchester—I like it and want to get back to them. I’m only thinking about Andres, he is the only opponent on my mind and then I’ll think about the future.
“First and foremost, I want to win this fight and have my arm raised. Every fighter wants to win by knockout, if I hit any fellow clean on the chin then potentially they could go, but Andres is a very tough guy. If I hit him clean with a good shot he could go.”
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