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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Frampton: Kiko is predictable - but this is no walk in the park

Belfast’s Carl Frampton hoping for repeat success when he takes on champion Kiko Martinez for the IBF title tomorrow night.

Frampton's KO win in February 2013 was the only time that Martinez has been stopped inside the distance.
Frampton's KO win in February 2013 was the only time that Martinez has been stopped inside the distance.
Image: ©Russell Pritchard/Presseye

CARL FRAMPTON KNOWS that all of the pressure is on him to deliver in tomorrow night’s IBF world title showdown.

A near-capacity crowd is expected in Belfast’s historic Titanic Quarter to roar on unbeaten Frampton against super-bantamweight champion Kiko Martinez.

‘The Jackal’ launched his career to the next level when he knocked out Martinez in February 2013 and took the Spaniard’s European titles.

The 27-year-old has won twice since to take his record to a perfect 18-0 while Kiko bounced back with four straight KO wins and became world champion in the process.

Frampton said: “All the pressure is on me because there is a certain amount of expectation.

People think I’m just going to win this fight because I’ve already beaten him, that it’s a walk in the park.

“But if you watch the last fight it was tough and if you look at my face, it was well marked up.

“I think all the pressure is on me — but I always seem to perform best under pressure when it has been on in the past.

“I’ve sort of pulled it out of the bag and put in good performances so I’m expecting the same this time.”

Kiko Martinez and Carl Frampton Martinez, far left, and Frampton, second right, at yesterday's pre-fight press conference in the Ulster Hall. Source: Presseye/Matt Mackey/INPHO

Mentored by Barry McGuigan and trained by son Shane, Frampton has fulfilled his destiny as one of Northern Ireland’s most exciting sports stars.

He is on the cusp of his world title dream — but Martinez would love nothing more than to be the man who denies him.

It would be sweet redemption for that Belfast defeat, the one and only time that Kiko has been stopped inside the distance.

He responded by clinching the IBF strap with a sixth-round knockout of Jonathan Romero and then defended his crown against Jeffrey Mathebula and Hozumi Hasegawa.

He has a new trainer too with Gabi Sarmiento taking over in the corner from his brother Pablo, but Frampton is not convinced that he is up against a new and improved Kiko.

Kiko Martinez and Carl Frampton 1/7/2014 The champion and the challenger face off at Belfast's historic Titanic Quarter. Source: Photographer - William Cherry

He said: “If I looked at his performances against Romero and Mathebula and Hasegawa, they are all pretty similar to how he boxed against me only those guys couldn’t deal with him.

He’s one-dimensional, he’s predictable, but he’s good at what he does.

“I’m expecting the exact same. I’m expecting him to come out firing. He’s probably going to try and knock me out.

“Obviously he’s got a lot of pride this guy and he wants to win the fight desperately but the best me against the best him, I’m always going to win.”

Carl Frampton: Belfast’s great unifier not only fighting for a world title – but for his city

About the author:

Niall Kelly

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