By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
CARL FRAMPTON is ready to prove the doubters wrong and has enlisted the help of a sports psychologist for the battle.
The former two-weight world champion takes on four-weight ruler Nonito Donaire in Belfast on Saturday.
Frampton, 31, feels he has been written off since he lost his WBA featherweight title to Leo Santa Cruz 15 months ago.
The Belfast fighter also believes many are waiting for him to fail again and were quick to criticise after he was taken to points by Horacio Garcia in November.
“You see online people like to moan,” said Frampton. “Two fights ago I lost my title to Leo Santa Cruz.
“And then the last fight I had a performance that was okay, but I think was over criticised, considering all the things that were going on in my life at the time.
“I lost a close fight fair and square to Leo Santa Cruz. Suddenly though, it’s Frampton is over the hill.
“People like to have their opinions and voice those on social media, but that’s all it is really.
“I’m very lucky. I’ve got fantastic support and a fantastic fanbase, but I don’t kid myself. There are people who would to see me fall flat on my face and would take great joy out of it.
“I’m using this as a motivation to prove to people that I’ve still got a lot left. It’s almost like sticking two fingers up to people who think I’m done.
“Because what I’ve been doing in this training camp, I’m far from done.”
Frampton was dealing with the fallout from his split with former manager Barry McGuigan and trainer Shane McGuigan in the build-up to his win over Garcia.
But now he is in a second camp with new coach Jamie Moore in his Manchester gym on the outskirts of the city.
The Irishman is also using Manchester City’s strength and conditioning coach Simon Bitcon while working with a sports psychologist to ensure his mind is on the job of regaining a world title.
“I’m working with a guy called Dr Mark Elliott, a Belfast sport psychologist and he’s helped me a lot,” said Frampton, who has lost just one of his 25 fights.
“When I was an amateur we used the Irish psychologist who I found very beneficial. But a lot of the times you were doing with a group of people.
“All the lads are there and no one’s really listening, everyone is messing about. But it’s something I always tried to pay attention to and listen to.
“I think it’s definitely beneficial. I teamed up with Mark and it’s been fantastic. It’s reassuring me that I’m a world class fighter.
“I feel mentally I’m in a good place. I look forward to getting in the gym every day, which I wasn’t
“Before it was a slog, thinking “F***, I’ve got another gym session”, I couldn’t be a**ed. But I done it because I had to, but now I enjoy training and I never thought I was going to feel like this in my career.”
Frampton’s fight with Donaire is for the interim WBO featherweight crown with the winner moving closer to a shot at champion Oscar Valdez.
He faces a fighter who has been a pro since 2001 and won world titles at flyweight, bantamweight, super-bantamweight an featherweight.
Frampton added: “Something people ask me is if I’ve been studying him. To be honest I’m not right now because I grew up watching him, I grew up being a fan of his. I know how he fights, what he does.
“Over the next week or so I’ll catch up and recap on some of the things he does. But I know how Nonito Donaire fights and I grew up watching him. I’ve always been a fan of his.”