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Frampton says he had to rely on physical strength to hold his own with Katie Taylor in sparring

‘To potentially become undisputed champion inside 15 fights is an amazing achievement no matter how you break it down.’

Gavan Casey reports from New York

CARL FRAMPTON ADMITS he used to be out-boxed by Katie Taylor in the Irish amateur ranks and had to rely on his physical strength to keep pace with the Bray woman during sparring sessions.

‘The Jackal’ also says he’s due to return to the ring on America’s East Coast in August with a view to setting up a world-title showdown with WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez, now a Top Rank stablemate of Frampton’s.

“Katie was the standout female amateur boxer on the planet when I was one of the guys on the [Irish] High Performance team — she used to train alongside us,” Frampton told Sky Sports.

“She used to spar with us — I sparred with Katie a number of times and I’ve always had a good relationship with her.

“She’s a quality boxer, she’s always been brilliant, I’ve always loved watching her even in the amateurs.

I’m going to be honest here: I was always a bit stronger than Katie. [But] if you stand off her, and try to box her… I’d have been out-boxed. She was very fast, punched a lot faster than me; technically, she was better than me. When I was getting out-boxed, I’d tend to lie on her and try and push her around a bit and try to use my strength to tire her out.

“But Katie was a phenomenal boxer.”

Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon Katie Taylor and Delfine Persoon square off at Madison Square Garden. Source: Tom Hogan/INPHO

A former two-weight world champion and one of this island’s greatest-ever purveyors of the sweet science, Frampton has caught some of the online discourse surrounding Irish media coverage of Taylor’s undisputed world-title clash with Delfine Persoon, or the lack thereof according to a number of disgruntled case-makers on social media.

No stranger to the ‘appreciation’ debate himself, the 32-year-old Tiger’s Bay native admitted he’s not up to speed on coverage of Taylor south of the border, but said there could be no debate as to the significance of Taylor’s fight at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night nor the magnitude of the achievement should she emerge victorious.

“Maybe they want her to be on the fuckin’ TV every 20 minutes or something, I don’t know,” Frampton told The42 with a chuckle. “But it’s a big deal, to become undisputed champion — well, I’m pretty sure she’s going to win this fight.

To become Ireland’s first-ever undisputed champion would be a massive achievement. The thing is, I don’t know too much about the opponent, but I just assume Katie’s going to win because it’s Katie Taylor. And I suppose that brings its own pressures for her — everyone just expects her to win fights and they don’t really look into the opponent too much.

“It’s happened to me a couple of times in my career: Alejandro Gonzales, in particular, I underestimated, and I ended up on my backside twice in the first round. But Katie has been in this position for her entire career, for the last 15 years or whatever, where she’s expected to beat her opponent.

“A lot of people, unless they’re a diehard boxing fan, are not going to even know who the opponent is.

But this is a big thing: how many fights has she had? To potentially become undisputed champion inside 15 fights is an amazing achievement no matter how you break it down; you can compare it to men’s boxing and stuff, but it’s still an amazing achievement in its own right.

“And the thing is, she can just keep going after that. She’s just a great ambassador for sport.

I expect Katie to win, and I’m saying that blindly because as I said, I don’t know much about the opponent. But I know Katie, and I know she’s a phenomenal talent.

Carl Frampton and Josh Warrington Frampton and Warrington prepare for another round of war. Source: ©INPHO

The former unified super-bantamweight king and WBA featherweight champ was unsuccessful in his most recent title tilt, losing a close but fair decision to Leeds’ Josh Warrington last December.

He’s had sufficient time to digest the result as well as where it went wrong for him on the night.

Frampton still feels he has a march toward global honours left in the tank, and should he win a summer ring return — likely in Boston — he’ll open the door to a winter shot at Mexican powerhouse Oscar Valdez who holds the WBO strap in the 126-pound division.

“I was a bit down for a while after the last one but I’m all right now,” he said.

It’d be wrong to say I underestimated Josh but maybe I underestimated how hard he could hit, because there was nothing, really, to suggest that he could hit as hard as what I felt in the ring that night. That’s the hardest I’ve ever been hit in my life.

“Maybe part of it was that you’re going in and you don’t have it in your mind that you’re facing a ‘puncher’, so you’re not quite as wary of the power as you would be for the likes of a fight with Oscar Valdez, or whoever.

“They’ve told me I’ll be back out in August — I think it’s either the 10th or the 24th. And I’ve been told it’s on the East Coast, potentially Boston. I wouldn’t mind getting out in Boston, actually. But hopefully it’ll get confirmed soon just so people have a chance to book flights and everything.

“I’m just looking to get a win, to be honest — to get back at it. And then hopefully that Valdez fight can be made later this year.”

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