Smell of danger is what Carl Frampton needs to inspire him, says coach
Coach Shane McGuigan says a World title challenge will bring out the best in Carl Frampton, who was left gutted by the cancellation of his homecoming duel with Andres Gutierrez at the weekend.
McGuigan was left as deflated as everyone else when the fight with Gutierrez fell through due to the Mexican tripping over his slippers and suffering injuries to his nose and mouth. That came on the back of Frampton failing to make the 9st limit that was set for the 12-rounder, which was to have been a WBC title eliminator.
The issue of former WBA World featherweight champion Frampton not being able to make the weight on the back of a three-month camp caused quite a stir and McGuigan admits it is something they have to deal with.
"Carl's one of six fighters that I train and not one of my fighters had missed weight in seven years, it's the first time that it has happened to me and the responsibility falls on me and Carl, so we have to address that," said McGuigan.
"Carl's 30 now so the metabolism is slowing down a bit. When he came into camp the weight had settled on him a bit more so it wasn't as easy to come off but he's a featherweight so it shouldn't be a big issue.
"He pushed incredibly hard to make the weight, right up until about 10 minutes before the weigh-in but the last pound just wouldn't come off." IBF World featherweight champion Lee Selby (right) has made it clear that he wants to defend against the Belfast man before Christmas, while Cyclone Promotions are still examining a re-scheduling of Frampton's fight with Gutierrez.
With Frampton admitting that he wasn't as "mentally focused" as he could have been during the camp leading up to the proposed duel with Gutierrez, McGuigan feels the challenge that could be presented by Selby or WBC champion Gary Russell - and obviously Leo Santa Cruz - would see the old fire burning again within the Jackal.
"I feel we need to pick up where we thought we'd be after the Gutierrez fight and then look for a World title fight because when Carl is focused, when he feels there is danger, that's when the monster comes out and you see the very best of him," added McGuigan.
"I feel Carl needs to set himself a goal of, say, four massive fights and although no plan goes smoothly and that could end up five or six or even three, at least he knows in every training camp what he's working towards.
"That will draw out the focus and the drive he needs to fulfil his potential.
"He feels like he has over-achieved because he is a two-weight World champion and beaten some top guys but I believe he has a lot more to give, there's much more that can be achieved because he's such a talented fighter.
"A lot was made about him not making weight and what that might mean for future fights but the reality is that Carl is the biggest ticket seller in the featherweight division and one of the biggest attractions in the world, so every champion knows that when they fight Carl they're going to be highly rewarded. So, getting a World title fight should not be difficult and we know that Selby wants to fight him and we're up for that.
"Selby would be ideal because Carl knows he would have to be at his best to win that fight and that would see him really motivated and firing in the gym.
"There have been so many times in the past when he has raised his game in big fights and brought out the best in himself."
Gutierrez left Belfast hoping for a return trip before Christmas but with the carrot of a fight with Selby dangling in front of Frampton, it would seem the Mexican's chance may have slipped away for a second time as he had also been lined up to face Frampton in the summer of 2015 before injury ruled him out and the Jackal defended his IBF super-bantamweight title against the late Alejandro Gonzalez jnr.
Nevertheless, the Mexican's camp will no doubt push for the fight to happen as it would provide Gutierrez with the biggest purse of his career.