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Frampton expects a real battle on his first step towards another world title bout

 

By Steve Wellings

Carl Frampton will face Horacio Garcia at the SSE Arena on November 18.

After his July homecoming was cancelled after opponent Andres Gutierrez suffered facial injuries following a fall in his hotel room, Frampton will be itching to end an 11-month absence with a win against a different Mexican road warrior.

"Garcia will definitely come and have a go. He's a typical Mexican warrior, he's tough and he's game, and he'll try and put it on me in front of my home crowd," enthused Frampton.

"It will be good to get a fight in against a live opponent before I get one of the big boys in the New Year. This is a fight that really excites me."

The Jackal could be edging closer to the huge outdoor event that has so far eluded him. New promoter Frank Warren echoed Frampton's sentiments when he stated that a good win over Garcia will open the door for a shot at one of the division's elite.

"Once he has got a good fight under his belt we will push on to one of the big boys in the New Year and then Windsor Park next summer, which is where we want to be with him, in a massive fight," said Warren.

Garcia (27) turned pro in 2008 and boasts a solid 33-3-1 record with 24 knockouts.

The Guadalajara native put together an impressive string of wins early in his career before running into quality Japanese operator Hozumi Hasegawa in 2015, losing on points.

His second loss came late last year at the fists of unbeaten Golden Boy prospect Joseph 'JoJo' Diaz, who is currently ranked highly by two sanctioning bodies.

Like Frampton, Garcia's most recent bout took place in the MGM Grand, Las Vegas where he gained revenge over the third man to stain his record, Diuhl Olguin.

"He has never been stopped in his career and has only lost to world-class opposition, excluding the loss against Olguin," said Frampton.

Stylistically, Garcia matches up well with Frampton. 'Violento' moves forward behind a high guard, dispensing with the jab, and he prefers to slash in right uppercuts and left hooks to the head and body. This should gel well with Frampton's classy back foot boxing.

Now working with trainer Jamie Moore and being advised by Matthew Macklin's MTK outfit, this will be the first step along a fresh path for Frampton, who asked for the bout to be a scheduled 10-rounder as he sheds the ring rust.

Any fringe belts attached to the contest could give an indication as to which route he will be travelling.

"This fight has been a long time coming and it's good to be back out in Belfast topping a double World title bill that also features my good friend Paddy Barnes defending his WBO European title," said Frampton.

Bouts with any of the current World champions - Lee Selby, Gary Russell, Leo Santa Cruz and Oscar Valdez - would be intriguing affairs.

The WBO has been a favoured route of Warren's and all-action Valdez holds that strap. Santa Cruz is tied up presently and appears to be taking a backwards step when he faces former Frampton victim Chris Avalos.

The bumper Belfast card also features Jamie Conlan's World title opportunity against IBF king Jerwin Ancajas, as well as a host of other enticing fights.

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