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Frampton targeting big fights after signing a deal with MTK

By David Kelly

Carl Frampton has linked up with a new team of advisors, hoping they can quickly secure him a deal with a promoter so he can start preparing for his return to the ring as soon as possible.

Frampton has placed his faith in Spanish-based management company MTK (Mack The Knife) Global which is headed by former European champion Matthew Macklin who has a gym in Marbella and manages Frampton’s close friend Paddy Barnes.

The news comes as a surprise to some as Frampton’s standing in world boxing is such that it was not thought he needed managerial advice.

But the former two-weight world champion said: “There was always the possibility that I could go my own way, but to have someone on your side advising you and getting you the best deal possible is always important and I feel Matthew Macklin and MTK Global can definitely do that.

“MTK are a relatively new organisation but if you look at what they have already done, they have big-name fighters like Billy Joe Saunders and recruited a lot of boxers from Ireland and I feel that they can get me the best deal with a promoter.”

Frampton has made it clear that any promoter must guarantee him a big night at Windsor Park and the ideal opponent next summer would be old rival Leo Santa Cruz, who outpointed him in Las Vegas in January to win the WBA  featherweight belt. “That would be the dream come true, to fight Leo Santa Cruz in the third fight at Windsor Park and beat him,”Frampton said. “That would be pretty perfect and ideal and hopefully, it will happen.

“A cru­cial part of any deal will be the guarantee of a fight at Windsor Park. There can’t be any deal with anyone if that is not set in stone because this is my dream.

“Every time I watch the North­ern Ireland lads play at Windsor and see that atmosphere, I have to admit that I feel a little jealous and annoyed that I haven’t been able to sample that as a fighter. It’s such a special place and you can see that by the way the players perform every time they cross the white line at Windsor.”

In joining the MTK outfit, Frampton is now part of the same organisation that looks after the affairs of Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan and many other Irish fighters.

Indeed, British boxing has not  had a management company in recent years with so many boxers attached to the one stable.

Frampton will seek to be out before Christmas and then hope to secure a world title opportunity early in 2018 with a summer showdown against Santa Cruz the ideal scenario.

“Lee Selby is a potential fight that I want, Gary Russell Jnr, Abner Mares these are the kind of names and calibre of fighters that I want to face at some point. All of them would be difficult fights in their own right and I’m hoping with MTK now we can get the right fights and the right promotional deal,” added Frampton.

“Hopefully, we can bring the names to this side of the pond, if not I’m always willing to travel. Belfast is special to me and I want to fight here a couple of times before my career is over.

“I’m happy in the featherweight division. I missed weight at my last weigh-in and I shouldn’t have done that, that was unprofessional.

“I am a featherweight and settled in the division for the meantime.

“In the future, I would like to target one of the big names up at super-featherweight and stand alone in Ireland as a three-weight world champion.”

Frampton, meanwhile, is delighted with how training is going with new coach Jamie Moore.

“In my head, I was hoping to go and train with a few guys but I was only out for a few days with Jamie and we gelled instantly. He knows the game inside out and is very knowledgeable.

“I’m feeling very fresh and my weight is very good so it’s just about getting a fight now.”

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