Saturday 19 January 2019

Frampton fired up by Windsor sell-out

Frampton v Jackson, Live, BT Sport 1, from 7.45

Carl Frampton. Photo: Sportsfile
Carl Frampton. Photo: Sportsfile

Gareth A Davies

Carl Frampton has long dreamt of tonight's occasion in Belfast and insists that Australian Luke Jackson will regret his trash talk when they contest the interim WBO featherweight title in front of a sell-out crowd of 25,000 at Windsor Park.

Jackson, undefeated in 16 fights and a man saved from drug addiction and suicidal tendencies by a life in boxing, has claimed that Frampton is past his best and looks heavy-legged in the gym. He has also been critical of the Belfast man's amateur pedigree.

"He can say what he wants, but he has never boxed at the level I have," countered Frampton, who has suffered one defeat - in a rematch with the brilliant Mexican Leo Santa Cruz - in his 26-fight career.

"We talk about levels in this game and there are different levels. I have boxed at a very high level for a long time. This is the first time he has mixed it at a high level and he is not going to be able to cope," said Frampton, who is eyeing a world title fight with either Josh Warrington, the IBF champion from Leeds, or Oscar Valdez, the WBO champion, who is recovering from a broken jaw.

"He has been slightly disrespectful. He has tried to backtrack, but he has said these things. He has made his bed and he has to lay in it. He is getting it - he really is."

Frampton goes into his third fight under trainer Jamie Moore and insists he has never been happier as a boxer. 'The Jackal', who had to strip naked behind a towel at the weigh-in to make 126lb, needs to display his trademark fast hands and movement tonight. He should have the class to end the contest between rounds six and eight.

On the undercard, in only his sixth professional fight, Paddy Barnes, one of Ireland's most decorated amateurs with two Commonwealth Games titles and two Olympic bronze medals, challenges Nicaraguan Cristofer Rosales for the World Boxing Council flyweight title, while Tyson Fury must do three things on the same Windsor Park bill against former world title challenger Francesco Pianeta: win, get rounds under his belt and show focus in dealing with a major occasion outdoors.

There is real pressure, yet Fury is showing no signs of being affected. The former world champion, returning for the second time after 30 months away due to a drug ban, weighed in at 18st 6lb yesterday, and promptly ignored his opponent, indulging instead in a verbal slanging match with the American Deontay Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion, who will work as an analyst with the broadcasters Showtime from ringside. The two were separated by security guards.

If he dispatches Pianeta handily, Fury is likely to head to Las Vegas in November to take on the 'Bronze Bomber' for the WBC crown. It is understood there are plans to unveil the superfight as early as next week.

A fight with Wilder, who is unbeaten and the most dangerous puncher in the division, would provide a route to the biggest fight in British boxing history against compatriot Anthony Joshua.

© Daily Telegraph, London

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