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05th Sep 2014

JOE meets Carl Frampton ahead of his title fight against Kiko Martinez in Belfast this weekend

'The Jackal' looks like he is ready to tear into Kiko Martinez...

Paul Moore

‘The Jackal’ looks like he is ready to tear into Kiko Martinez…

Tiger Bay native Carl Frampton has a date with destiny on Saturday as he once again meets Kiko Martinez in the ring. This time though he will be challenging for his first world title belt against the Spanish IBF super-bantamweight champion.

Frampton knocked out Martinez last February in an absorbing fight but the Spaniard has since gone on to claim and defend  the world title.

Frampton’s pro record is impressive though, winning all of his 18 fights (13 KOs), and we caught up him ahead of the fight at Belfast’s Titanic Quarter to get his views on…

Martinez and becoming the next IBF super-bantamweight champion…

Kiko might have a bit more confidence because has has won and defended the title but I think  when he looks across that ring and sees me, all he will be thinking about is the last time when I knocked him out.

I’m expecting the best Kiko Martinez to show up because he’s aggressive, relentless and a proud champion. I’m expecting a similar fight to the last one to be honest.

Carl Frampton and Kiko Martinez

Is the fight a grudge match…

It’s not a case of Kiko coming over here because he has  no fear of me. I know what he’s getting paid for this fight and money talks in this business. That’s the main reason why he’s coming to Belfast.

Obviously he’s proud and wants to avenge the previous defeat against me but he’s also getting the biggest pay day of his career and he does like to travel.

The reason why he wins so often away from home is that boxing isn’t massive in his own country so he has no other options. We offered him a big pay day before he even went to fight in Japan but he saw the Japanese guy as a winnable fight so he took that option.

Kiko’s style…

His previous fights have usually been boxed the one way. He likes to come forward and it’s what I’m expecting again.

I don’t expect him to instantly turn into some fancy footed, step off the back foot fighter. He’s got one dimension but it’s a good one that seems to work well for him.

The thing is,  I’ve already dealt with him and I’d like to think that I’ve a good boxing brain so even after a fight or sparring session I always get the better of my opponent. It’s going to be the same for this fight.

The outdoor conditions…

I don’t think it will affect my performance, if it does have any influence on the fight then it will be the same for both of us.

If it’s bad weather then maybe it will affect him more because he is a Spaniard and he wouldn’t be used to these Irish weather conditions!

Eleven at night and you’re right on the Lough so there will probably be some wind coming in but if there’s any weather issues then it will affect him a lot more than me.

Is Kiko any different from the last fight…

I haven’t noticed too many differences in him apart from the fact that he might be a bit more refined. He’s coming here with the intention of knocking me out but I’ve dealt with him once and I’ll do the same to him again.

I’m confident in my own ability but I’m definitely not underestimating or overlooking Kiko at all. Me at my best versus him at his best and I’ll win that fight every day. If I stay calm and smart then I’ll definitely win the fight.

I feel unbelievably switched on and focused because for every moment of my 14-week training camp, Kiko has been the guy on my mind. He’s a dangerous puncher but I’ve got a good chin, then again I don’t want anyone hitting it too often!

Is Frampton a better fighter since their last fight…

I think I’m a much better fighter since the last time we met. One of the aspects that I’ve really worked on is boxing up close and I feel like I’m getting better at that.

I’m much more comfortable with my forehead resting on the opponent’s forehead and being able to block shots and counter punch from up close.

The last fight…

I expect the exact same fight as the last time when he spent most of the fight on the front foot.

He’ll come out of the blocks fast but I made mistakes in that last fight. I don’t like watching it back because I know that I won the fight well but I still made mistakes. If I rectify them then it could be a potentially easier night than the last one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSwjri6CuhU

Clip via – myloveinter2

Does twice the capacity as the Odyssey mean twice the pressure/excitement…

Probably a mix of both to be honest. A bigger arena and a bigger title on the line because the  last time I fought him it was for a European title and this is obviously a world title.

It’s crazy to think that they’re building a stadium just for me to box in.

His daughter being in attendance…

She’s going to be sitting ringside, we couldn’t get a babysitter and it seems that everyone wants a ticket for this fight!

She’ll be four in December and she even knows all about Kiko. If you ask her who is a bold boy then she will answer Kiko!

It’s going to be great to have her there but it wont take my mind off the job at hand because I’m expecting to lift her up in the ring after the fight with that belt around my waste also.

A potential fight in Dublin…

I’d love to fight in Dublin because I know that a lot of people from the North would come down but I’ve also got a lot of supporters in Dublin also.

I’ve boxed for Ireland as an amateur, been in the National Stadium and even lived on the South Circular Road for a while. I’d genuinely love to fight here but I’d also love to fight in America also.

Any upcoming future fights…

There are monster fights out there like Santa Cruz/Quigg and when I win this fight on Saturday what comes after it is potentially huge for my career.

Those are the fights that help set you up for life and give your family some security. There’s a lot riding on this fight against Kiko but I’m definitely not taking my eye off the ball.

A potential change in weights…

I could go up to featherweight or super feather weight with no problems. I’m obviously not blessed with height so I cant go to far up the divisions!

Barry McGuigan…

Barry is Barry. He is always stressed and nervous in the lead-up to any event but that suggests to me that he wants me to win and cares about me.

I’ll have to usher him out of the changing rooms and lock the doors behind him! He’ll be nervous while I’m nice and calm.

Carl Frampton Barry McGuigan

Did Frampton ever think he could be world champion…

To be honest no, not back when I was starting out in the National Arena because when I was a lad in training I liked to have a mess around and I was easily led shall we say!

Once I get out of that set-up and put myself in London for training camps I find that I can easily lock myself away and train hard. I’m a much different person now then I was back then.

I’m very happy with how my career has progressed so far but obviously I would have loved to box in the Olympics but I’l take a pro title over a medal.

That’s not to degrade or slate Olympic medals because it’s an amazing achievement but this direction is right for me.

Sparring partners…

I’ve been delighted with my selection because I’ve been sparring with short stocky guys, who obviously are a bit heavier than Kiko, but it bodes well in terms of making me work harder.

Barry’s been in their ears because they’ve all been paid and if they’re not doing their job then they’re out.

The fight itself…

I expect to win and that’s it. I know I’ve the power to take him out and any other super bantamweight in the world. If I hit anyone clean then I can knock them out. I’ve prepared for 12 hard rounds but if I can get the job done in less than that then happy days. It’s always good to get a knock out.