Photograph: ©Russell Pritchard/Cyclone Promotions
All is well in training camp and the last hard week of sparring is done and dusted. Carl Frampton is mellowing down and readying himself for a WBC eliminator against Hugo Cazares that will, if successful, push him closer to a world title opportunity. Trainer Shane McGuigan has overseen almost 200 rounds of sparring in the build-up and the WBC’s 30-day weight check-in is routinely ticked off the list. Frampton is fully aware that he needs to be in the best shape of his career to mix at such an esteemed level. He admits that with huge prizes within touching distance it is not just about winning his upcoming bout with ‘El Increible’ but looking good in the process.
“I need to not just win each fight but look good and exciting as well,” agreed ‘The Jackal’, who has one eye on America and its often fickle audience of fight followers.
“[The ‘This is Belfast’ show] is definitely the biggest bill in the country in a long time and I’m proud to be topping it. You’ll see plenty of well-matched, competitive fights.”
Carl has been eager to point out that looks can be deceiving. Despite his sawn-off-shotgun physique the Tigers Bay boxer is perfectly capable of implementing a bit of the sweet science when necessary.
“I think in previous camps I’ve tried to go forward, work close and on the inside. People look at me, see that I’m short and stocky and automatically think I’m an aggressive fighter but I actually prefer fighters to come to me. I’ve been working hard on staying in the pocket, slipping and blocking up close and working inside. I feel like I’m improving at that and I’m much better. I will hopefully put it all into practise on fight night,” he added.
Prior to his arrival in Belfast Hugo Cazares mentioned that he had watched Frampton’s bouts with Kiko Martinez and Raul Hirales and apparently commented that in both fights Frampton boxed going backwards for long periods. If the Mexican arrives at the Odyssey expecting a one dimensional opponent then he will be sorely mistaken.
“He might be expecting that again and thinks that he can come forward but I can win the fight either way and use whatever game plan we think will win,” affirmed Frampton.
“Guillermo Rigondeaux is an amazing fighter, one of my favourite fighters, but he gets so much stick because the Yanks think he’s boring to watch. The Americans are starting to bring a bit of interest now and talking about me. I want to fight in America at some point in my career and I need to look good.”