Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Carl Frampton: It's destiny, not destination, that is Barry McGuigan's focus

Dream team: Shane McGuigan, Carl Frampton, Barry McGuigan and Jake McGuigan announce the world title bout at the Europa Hotel in Belfast yesterday
Dream team: Shane McGuigan, Carl Frampton, Barry McGuigan and Jake McGuigan announce the world title bout at the Europa Hotel in Belfast yesterday

Barry McGuigan knows a thing or two about winning a world title in an outdoor setting.

The Cyclone Promotions CEO claimed the WBA featherweight crown in front of a raucous Loftus Road crowd in 1985 and Barry is now in position to present Carl Frampton with the same opportunity.

McGuigan and his team are planning a world title event in September that will see boxing in Northern Ireland presented on an unprecedented scale.

"The Belfast public don't get enough big fights, so this is an incredible opportunity," said McGuigan.

"We had numerous different people saying they were going to get the fight and that we didn't have the gravitas or the ability to have a fight like this, but we did it."

World champion Kiko Martinez has disregarded last year's loss to Frampton as an "off night". McGuigan insists, however, that the first fight has no bearing on the rematch and they are leaving nothing to chance.

"I thought after six rounds it was quite even or Carl might have been a round or two up. Then we saw what happened afterwards, but we don't look to the past, we look to the future and what's coming next.

"Kiko's a great fighter and he has proven since the defeat to Carl that he can go and win a world title and defend it.

"I think Martinez has improved, but Frampton has improved leaps and bounds.

"This is a fabulous fight and it might even be better than the last one, but there will only be one winner.

"I think this kid can be a superstar and September 6 is the start of it. After that we are into mega-fights."

The purse Kiko will be receiving for defending his world title has been described by McGuigan as "a staggering amount of money" but it is a price worth paying to secure home advantage.

Carl was originally expecting to box for a world belt against Leo Santa Cruz. But when talks with his representatives at Golden Boy broke down, there was a danger of Frampton's career stagnating.

Chief negotiator Jake McGuigan stepped in and set about finalising a deal with IBF ruler Martinez instead.

"I think Santa Cruz is a great fighter and before the (Hugo) Cazares fight he was talking non-stop about fighting Frampton and then he wasn't interested," said Barry.

"We've got the big show coming here anyway and that's the main thing. The team are looking at a number of venues and we'll have it finalised in a couple of weeks."

Barry is also keeping a close eye on the American market and envisages future mega-fights taking place on the Las Vegas strip.

Influential U.S. TV network HBO plan on broadcasting the September main event and Cyclone Promotions will be busy getting their young prospects some further exposure on the undercard.

"We are going to put on a stellar undercard and give as many of the Irish fighters a chance to shine and show their potential. The crowd is going to benefit from a great night of boxing."

Putting that aside, there is no doubt who the star attraction will be when Frampton seeks to announce himself on the world stage.

"I just think Frampton is an exceptional fighter and he will win in emphatic style," concluded McGuigan.

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