Carl Frampton has told UTV he hopes his next fight – against Mexican puncher Andres Gutierrez – will not be his last in his Belfast hometown.
The pair will face off against each other at the SSE Arena on Saturday, July 29, in a WBC world featherweight title eliminator.
While Frampton admits he longs to fight at Windsor Park, he also knows what it is like to enter the ring in the ‘Jackal’s Den’ of the SSE.
“The atmosphere can’t be created anywhere else like it – it’s outstanding,” the boxer said. “Nine-thousand people sound like 30,000, so I’m looking forward to it.
“I’m looking forward to getting back home and I think it’s going to be an atmosphere that Gutiérrez has never witnessed before and we’ll see how he deals with that.”
Gutiérrez, now aged 23, turned professional at the age of just 15.
“He’s got 35 wins, one loss, one draw - and his loss … He didn’t lose the fight, he won it. It was a very controversial decision,” Frampton said. “He’s a big puncher with 25 knockouts, so it’s gonna be a good fight - a tough fight.”
Frampton is also holding onto his hopes of concluding the trilogy with rival Léo Santa Cruz, after he handed the Tiger’s Bay fighter his first defeat.
"Santa Cruz is fighting [Abner] Mares in early September and we've got this guy, who is a serious challenge and that's all we're focused on: get his sharpness back, get a win and get back out again in the autumn for hopefully a big showdown with Santa Cruz," Frampton said.
"Initially after he beat me, what he was saying before the fight changed quickly but I understand why he didn't come. He's just won the title. The money he has been getting paid in the States, it needed to be a pay per view show and there wasn't a pay per view date available in the summer. We just couldn't do that. I was disappointed he didn't come but it's 1-1 between us and I'm hoping that that fight will happen at some point. I need to get past Andrew Gutierrez first and that's a really difficult fight. I'm completely focused on one man and that isn't Leo Santa Cruz."
But in the meantime, demand for tickets to that next bout in July is expected to be high on Thursday morning as fight fans get ready for the return of the Jackal.