Boxing: Frampton looking for power and polish
Carl Frampton has always preferred to let his fists do the talking and he is modest enough to realise they still need a little honing as he continues his rapid rise.
The little Belfast dynamo makes the second defence of his Commonwealth super-bantamweight title on Saturday night at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, as the main supporting fight to the exciting welterweight clash between Kell Brook and Matthew Hatton which is expected to draw a sell-out crowd of 10,000.
Frampton has long been lauded as a future European and World champion by manager Barry McGuigan and the 25-year-old will take another step along his learning curve when he faces Ghana's Prosper Ankrah.
For Frampton it is not only a matter of turning back the Ghanian's challenge, but also showing improvement in an area that he admits needs a little polishing, his defence.
“We've been working on my head movement, making myself less easy to hit as I come forward... being a small super-bantamweight that's very important,” said Frampton, who knocked out Scotland's Kris Hughes in his last fight in January, but felt he could have been even more potent at close quarters.
“I am looking to do a bit more damage up close and you could say that I could work harder at close range, but I have always felt very comfortable as a middle distance fighter, that position suits me because I can do damage and I can box when I need to.
“But I am working on little things all the time to make me a better fighter and the sparring I am getting is really bringing me on.
“I don't like to throw loads of punches to just wear a guy down, I like to be more clinical than that and I love to throw the show stopping punch to end the fight.
“I thought the Kris Hughes fight all went to plan. I thought he would have been a bit more awkward and I had actually said to my partner Christine, who came to the fight, that if looks like I have lost the first two rounds don't worry because I will catch up with him.
“But I felt very comfortable in there and I dominated him so I feel that everything is moving in the right direction.
“I have been sparring Choi Tseveenpurev, among others, including some light-middleweights and everybody knows that Choi is a tough cookie, but when I compare the way I sparred him the first time to the way I sparred him this time I can see just how far I have come on.
“I’m looking forward to getting back into the ring and getting another good win under my belt.”
Hard hitting Frampton admits that up until now he has known very little about Ankrah, but will be taking nothing for granted.
“We actually had a guy on a spying mission for us, he's a Ghanian in London and he was over there recently and managed to get a video of the guy so I'll be taking a quick look at that this week, but you know that the stereotypical fighter from Ghana will be aggressive and will be hard so that's what I expect.
“I’m sure from what I’m told that I won't have to go looking for him. He has a lot to fight for, it would change his career if he could beat me.
“I know that I have to be on my game and I’m looking forward to boxing on such a big stage.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn has already stated that victory for Frampton will lead to a further fight back in Belfast in June.
Meanwhile, British super-middleweight champion George Groves has been forced to pull out of his scheduled defence against Kenny Anderson at Wembley Arena on Friday due to an unspecified medical complaint.
Groves' withdrawal has led to the cancellation of the entire show, with promoter Frank Warren admitting: “It is bitterly disappointing for us and for all the boxers involved.”