Carl Frampton: 2017 could be my best year yet
Carl Frampton has said 2017 could be his best year yet.
The Belfast boxer is currently in America as he prepares for his rematch with Mexican Leo Santa Cruz on January 28.
Frampton has described the bout in the Las Vegas MGM Grand as a "dream come true".
When defeating Santa Cruz last summer to win the WBA World featherweight title, he became the first Northern Ireland boxer to win titles at two different weights.
Frampton has been named fighter of the year by several boxing publications - despite being snubbed by the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
He is waiting on the official crowning by the Boxing Writers Association of America in the coming weeks.
Speaking to the LA Times Frampton said: "You want to check off boxes. My main objective was to become a world champion. I’ve done that. Everything else is a bonus.
“To be in the running is a huge thing, 2016 was a year I’ll never forget and 2017 has the potential to be even better. I’m looking forward to kicking it off with a great fight. This is not for publicity and I’m not a spoofer -- this is going to be a good fight and there’s no doubt about it.
"When I fight and spar people, I feel I improve the second time. I have a good boxing brain and can adapt to different situations.
“I know everything about Leo. If you look at all his fights, he fights the same way: head first, throws a lot of shots, very fit, very tough, very resilient. But I know about him and that’ll be the difference.”
Despite a large following of his travelling support expected to make the journey across - those who aren't making the trip will still be able to watch the bout on Sky.
Belfast Telegraph Digital