Carl Frampton v Alejandro Gonzalez Jr: World champion is ready for the fury of Mexican fans in Texas
Carl Frampton usually feels the love when he walks to the ring but on July 18 the World champion will face a crowd willing him to lose.
El Paso, Texas is famous for the intensity of the fans — just like Belfast — and Alejandro Gonzalez Jr will be hoping they can inspire him to an upset victory when he challenges Frampton for his IBF super-bantamweight title — in the same way that his dad defeated Kevin Kelley for the WBC belt 10 years ago.
It’s going to be a Mexican boxing feast as following Frampton’s clash with Gonzalez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr will return to the ring against hard-hitting fellow countryman Marcos Reyes at the same Don Haskins Centre arena.
Frampton insists he will be ready to handle the heat of the Mexican support and deliver another special performance on his American debut.
“This guy sells tickets so I’m going to have to be ready for thousands of Mexicans baying for my blood,” said Frampton.
“It’s not something that I am used to because I’m used to the Jackal’s Den at the Odyssey where the support is just amazing for me but I’m a world champion and this is the kind of stage you have to deal with. As the champion I’m the one bringing the TV but I’ll be the away fighter in the arena, that’s for sure.
“But this is such an important stage for me that I won’t be letting anything stand in my way of showing the American public what I’m about.”
Frampton’s link-up with American boxing powerbroker Al Haymon has handed him the chance to show off his talent on the CBS network coast to coast and also emboldens his chances of finally landing super-fights with the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Gary Russell Jr, the WBC featherweight champion.
Frampton added: “It’s so important that I look good so I’ll be going out to do a really good job. I want to be a star in the States because that’s where the big money fights are and now we are linked to Al Haymon anything is possible.
“He’s the man who can open all the doors and at super-bantamweight or featherweight there are a lot of big fights there. Haymon has a lot of dates.
“This is hopefully going to be the start of a lot of fights in America but of course I want to be fighting at home — it would be great if all goes well and I am back fighting in Belfast before the end of the year and then maybe a big fight in America around St Patrick’s Day.”
Of course the fight everyone wants to see is Frampton in the ring with WBA regular champion Scott Quigg, who faces former IBF World champion Kiko Martinez on the same night the Jackal aims to be a hit Stateside.
Indeed, they will probably be entering the ring at the same time as Frampton’s fight is scheduled for around 3pm in Texas.
Frampton added: “The Quigg fight could still happen if he comes through against Kiko and that is by no means certain — it’s not guaranteed at all.
“Quigg’s taking a very big gamble against Kiko because if he loses then the fight doesn’t mean the same as it did.
“The Quigg fight can be made, they know what we want — it should be a 60-40 split for me because I am the legitimate champion, it’s as simple as that.”
Meanwhile, Belfast super-featherweight Anthony Cacace returns to the ring today in Budapest, in a six rounder.
Cacace should have little trouble handling Karoly Lakatos and will then hope for a serious test of his potential as he seeks to move into the British title mix.