Friday 24 November 2017

Frampton focused on title chance

Carl Frampton, pictured, will face IBF champion Kiko Martinez in Belfast this weekend
Carl Frampton, pictured, will face IBF champion Kiko Martinez in Belfast this weekend

Carl Frampton is fully focused on grabbing his world title opportunity with both hands as he attempts to wrest the IBF super-bantamweight title off Kiko Martinez in their rematch in Belfast this weekend.

Frampton (18-0, 13KOs) is a heavy favourite to beat Martinez again, having won their first encounter in February last year by ninth-round stoppage in a savage bout that left the unbeaten Northern Irishman with a perforated ear drum.

Nevertheless, Martinez rebounded from the loss two bouts later to surprisingly take a portion of the world title off Jhonatan Romero and the Spaniard has gone on to make two successful defences.

The 28-year-old (31-4, 28KOs) will be aiming to make it three, and avenge his most recent loss in one fell swoop, at the Titanic Quarter on Saturday night, but Frampton is ready for whatever the champion will bring.

"Every single one of his fights he has boxed the same way. He comes forward, he's aggressive and has an exciting style that the crowds like," said Frampton.

"I think our styles clash well and make for a good fight, but I don't see him doing anything different and expect him to come head first, trying to knock me out.

"But it's up to me to remain smart and switched on for the 12 rounds, and as long as I stay focused there's only going to be one winner."

While Frampton insists Martinez is incapable of change, t he 27-year-old, who is managed and promoted by former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan , feels he is constantly improving.

"I don't think you've seen the best of me. There's still plenty more to come. I can see and feel the improvements every day in training and after sparring. The best is definitely yet to come," he said.

Victory on Saturday could open up potentially lucrative unification bouts with WBC champion Leo Santa Cruz or British rival and WBA title-holder Scott Quigg, but Frampton only has eyes for Martinez.

"I'm preparing for a hard, gruelling fight, that may take 12 rounds, but no matter what happens I'm going to win," he said.

"I also know I have the power to knock any super-bantamweight in the world out.

"So it could be a 12-round points decision or it could be over in the first round. Nevertheless, I'm preparing for a very hard and brutal fight, then we can talk about future fights."

Press Association

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