Wednesday 13 December 2017

'Jackal' Carl Frampton out to win over US audience

Irish boxer Carl Frampton
Irish boxer Carl Frampton

David Kelly In El Paso

It wasn't what Carl Frampton said or didn't say, but the vibe he gave off to everyone at a packed media conference, the air of man who simply feels unstoppable.

Frampton arrived at the University of El Paso venue flanked by manager Barry McGuigan and coach Shane McGuigan and spoke of the sense of opportunity that has been handed him by live coverage of tonight's IBF super-bantamweight title defence on CBS and ITV.

Unlike with his previous title defence in Belfast when Chris Avalos let loose a relentless amount of trash talk, challenger Alejandro Gonzalez Jr showed the champion - making his American debut - respect throughout.

Frampton, the unbeaten 28-year-old from Tigers Bay, has slowly but surely built up an aura of confidence.

Yesterday's press conference seemed like another day at the office, counting down to the first bell.

Leading up to a big show in Belfast, 'The Jackal' feeds off the buzz around the city. But this time it is much more internal; it's about his career pushing to another level.

"It's a different expectation because this fight is going out coast to coast in the States and it's my American debut and I'm wanting to be the best I've looked yet in a fight," said Frampton.

"People still haven't seen the best of me and everything that I can do. My team see it every day in the gym but I still haven't performed the way I can, and that's what I want show everyone here in America and back home.

"I think Gonzalez will try to keep it long, keep it at distance because he has the height advantage but I'm smart enough and clever enough to know how to get up close and beat up close. But also if I need to beat him off the back foot I could do that as well.

"If just depends how he fights and what I can do and I want to go and get him, look explosive and knock him out.

"We've had about five Mexican sparring partners in for this fight and previously I fought a good Mexican, so I know what to expect. Mexicans are typically very brave people and I expect to see that from Alejandro Gonzalez.

"I think once I tag him, his Mexican heart will come out and he'll want to come and have a fight with me and that's going to be pleasing for the fans."


The word 'pressure' is usually bandied around when it comes to a Frampton fight night, and it could be argued that given the stage he is on for the first time in the States, that this will be one of the most pressurised situations for the champion.

"There's been pressure on me throughout my whole career, even from the moment when Barry signed me up so I'm used to it," he said.

"I have controlled the pressure up to this point of my career and I'm sure I can do it again - I can deal with pressure," added Frampton, who revealed that he was on the super-bantamweight limit of 122lb ahead of today's weigh-in.

"I've been eating well and drinking well and everything has gone really well in the camp. The sparring has been great and I'm ready."

The temperatures may be hitting over 100 degrees out here but the Jackal still has ice running through his veins.

Frampton v Gonzalez,

Live, ITV, 9.45

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