Carl Frampton is relishing an exciting start to 2012 with a successful defence of his Commonwealth super-bantamweight title on January 28 at the York Hall Bethnal Green.
The hard-hitting Belfast man will make the first defence of the title against Scotland’s Kris Hughes.
Frampton expects 2012 to be big year with the promoter of European champion Kiko Martinez, Belfast man Pat Magee having said that he would be keen to make a showdown between the two in May.
Frampton said: “I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring. It would have been nice before Christmas but in saying that it’s going to be a great way to start the year and I hope it leads to a lot of big fights for me in 2012.
“I won’t be taking anything for granted because Kris is very tall for the weight and a good boxer but he knows what I’ve got and I’m very confident about the fight.
“It’s nice to hear that Kiko Martinez wants to fight me. We should have boxed in September only Kiko’s dad was ill. I think everyone knows what an exciting fight it would be.
“I have to focus on Kris and I’ve already been doing some sparring with Stephen Ormond who’s boxing for the WBO inter-continental lightweight title.”
For Scotsman Hughes, also 24, it’s a second crack at the title having lost a narrow points decision to Jamie Arthur last October.
Frampton’s manager Barry McGuigan said: “He’s a tall rangy guy who gave Jamie Arthur a real work out, he’s got experience and he is a southpaw so it’s a different type of fight and challenge for Carl and I’m looking forward to it.
“We’re looking forward to fighting in the York Hall again — it’s just like the Ulster Hall really so it’s a home away from home for Carl, every bit as atmospheric and we will be bringing a lot of fans over.
“There’s a huge underground movement of excitement and support for Carl from boxing fans all over the place who are talking about him so it’s good to get him fighting in new places.
“I’m sure that there will be three or four-hundred fans going over and a large number in London who will be looking forward to seeing Carl in the flesh for the first time.”
Meanwhile, Amir Khan is promising fireworks when he puts his WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles on the line against Lamont Peterson on Saturday night.
Khan said: “The viewers at home know they are going to get fireworks. They know when Amir Khan fights it is going to be explosive, there's always that explosive style there.
“It is going to be a great performance from me.
“I am sharp, I am ready, I am in the best condition I can ever be in.”