Carl Frampton: I'm feeling top of the world ahead of Leo Santa Cruz fight at Belfast's Odyssey Arena
Published 04/04/2014 | 05:24
Carl Frampton says he is ready to give the performance of his career at the Odyssey Arena tonight and seal a World super-bantamweight title shot with Leo Santa Cruz.
Unbeaten Frampton tangles with WBC World number one and two-weight world champion Hugo Cazares in a final eliminator for the right to face Santa Cruz in the summer and the Belfast man has no doubt he will have to deliver a memorable performance.
"This is my time, I'm in the prime of my life. It'll be blood and guts and it will be very exciting while it lasts – I don't see it going the distance," said 27-year-old Frampton, who 12 months ago knocked out reigning IBF World champion Kiko Martinez in a European title fight.
"I think it will take a better performance than the one I gave when I beat Kiko Martinez because Hugo's a better fighter than Martinez."
"He's going to be harder to hit and he's got a lot of experience but I think that I'm too young, too fit and too strong but I do think this will be a tougher fight than the Martinez fight.
"Hugo says he's up for war and I'm ready to fight 12 rounds at a very high pace.
"I'm hoping that Hugo comes and wants to stand and trade at the centre of the ring, that will suit me, it'll be good for the crowd and a war is what is on the cards.
"He hasn't been stopped since 1999 so if I do get the knockout then that will be a massive statement.
"That will set me up for the World title fight with Santa Cruz. I don't know where the fight is going to be, it could be here or America.
"I know that if it is in America, particularly on the east coast, I could take 2,000 fans there. But I can't look past Hugo and this fight, I have to deliver... and I will."
Mexican Cazares, 36, once again insisted that his greater experience will see him come out on top.
"I hope that Frampton comes and pleases the crowd and has a fight, that's what I want.
"I want to see what happens when he gets hit because not too many have done that. What's he going to do when he hits me and I'm still there hitting him back?" said Cazares.
* First bell 6pm.