Chris Avalos insists that the IBF super-bantamweight title should be his personal property. Speaking to the Californian on the telephone recently he described his displeasure at the Frampton-Martinez world title affair and described it as a “secret fight”.

Once again, at the most recent Belfast press conference, organised to formally announce the February 28 show entitled “The World is Not Enough”, Avalos accused Team Cyclone of paying for the Martinez rematch. The 25-year-old also claimed that the IBF were threatening to demote him in the rankings if he didn’t agree to a fight with Japan’s Yasutaka Ishimoto which took place earlier this year in China, resulting in an Avalos eighth-round knockout win.

“Chris has been waiting for this fight for a long time,” agreed the American’s manager Mike Criscio. “This will be a tough fight. Carl’s a tough competitor and I’m not taking anything away from him but Chris’ very hungry. He came from the bottom up, has a family to feed and he wants this bad.”

Frampton was unimpressed by Criscio’s assessment, arguing that he also has a young family to look after and has been handed nothing on a plate, having risen from a tough housing estate through the boxing ranks to the highest level. Frampton also cast aspersions on his opponent’s record, especially his two defeats to supposedly lesser opposition.

“Yes, Chris does have two losses but against Chris Martin he had a 102 fever, the other guy was 12 pounds overweight and we should’ve never fought the fight,” argued Mike Criscio. “I told Chris not to take the fight but he has Mexican pride and he took it. We went the distance, lost and never got the rematch. Against [former IBF title holder Jhonatan] Romero, as you all know, we beat Romero very comfortably. Gary Shaw has deep pockets and I think he paid off a couple of guys. The whole media frenzy after that was ridiculous. Chris won that fight.”

With both combatants seated across the table from one another at the press conference Frampton visibly rolled his eyes at Criscio’s reasoning. The tall, imposing manager cuts an authoritative figure who has spent his entire career trying to do his business with a level of integrity. Criscio’s words were well considered and delivered concisely, offering a nice counterbalance to his client’s brash predictions and perceived arrogant nature.

“Carl thinks he’s going to come in here and knock Chris out but Chris has never been knocked out before by the way,” continued Criscio. “If he thinks he is going to push Chris around then it’s a rude awakening. This fight’s going to be held in the middle of the ring, 100 punches each per round, nobody’s going to back down but Chris will come out with a victory – I guarantee that.”

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