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Carl Frampton: Belfast boxer gives lunchtime city crowd a treat ahead of Titanic Showdown clash with Kiko Martinez

By Paul Connolly

Carl Frampton and his foe Kiko Martinez came face to face in Belfast today as the clock ticked down to their world title fight on Saturday.

Both men trained – and gave interviews - in public at Victoria Square shopping centre in front of hundreds of fight fans.

Saturday's IBF super-bantam wright fight will take place in a purpose-built, 16,000 capacity arena in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.

Manager Barry McGuigan told the crowd today that the fight will be Northern Ireland's biggest ever – reminiscent of his own 1980s glory days.

Frampton said he is in his best ever condition after a marathon training and build-up programme, and predicted he will be champion on Saturday night.

“I'm ready for it, it will be a great fight,” said to cheers from a lunchtime crowd from a purpose-built boxing ring at Victoria Square.

Martinez also addressed the crowd through an interpreter, saying he respects Frampton but predicting his defeat.

Frampton became the only fighter to knock out Martinez last February but the tough Spaniard went on to win a world title in August.

Frampton, who lives with his wife Christine and three-year-old daughter Carla in Lisburn, began his boxing career at Midland ABC, Tiger's Bay before moving to Holy Family ABC in New Lodge as a professional.

He is trained by Barry McGuigan's son Shane, who was also present at the Victoria Square training.

Television rights to the fight have been sold in the British Isles, the US, China, Japan, the Middle East and south America.

Friday's Ulster Hall weigh-in is open to the public – but entrance is on a first come-first served basis.

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