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Carl Frampton: New York title defence will be well worth the 'weight'

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Prize guy: Carl Frampton shows off his super-bantam titles

Prize guy: Carl Frampton shows off his super-bantam titles

©William Cherry / Presseye

Prize guy: Carl Frampton shows off his super-bantam titles

Carl Frampton is convinced his step up to featherweight will make him a better fighter.

 Frampton will fight Mexican superstar Leo Santa Cruz for the WBA World featherweight title - his manager Barry McGuigan's old belt - in New York in late summer.

Victory would see the Belfast boxer become the first Northern Ireland fighter to win World titles at two weights following his success in the super-bantamweight division.

"I always said that I wouldn't move up to featherweight unless it was for a massive fight and there's not too many bigger fights out there than this," said the 29-year-old, who beat Scott Quigg in Manchester in late February when the IBF and WBA super-bantamweight titles were on the line.

"It's a really special opportunity, the kind of fight that dreams are made of - and its an opportunity to win the World belt that my manager Barry McGuigan won in 1985.

"It's 30 years since Barry lost the title in Las Vegas to Steve Cruz and now I'm fighting a Cruz for the same title in the States. It's going to bring back a lot of memories for people.

"Some will be saying that Barry lost to a Cruz in America and maybe I will. But I am going there with a lot of confidence.

"Because I'm moving up from super-bantamweight I know that some will think that this might be to the advantage of Santa Cruz but I really believe it will be in my favour.

"The reason I say that is because when I'm in sparring weighing around 9st 8lb and facing three different sparring partners, I'm just as strong in the 10th through to the 12th round as I am at the start.

"But I would admit that in some fights at super-bantam I have faded a little - it's not that I wasn't super fit because I always am but just that little bit of energy dipped so I think that will change at featherweight.

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Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Carl Frampton will be honoured by Belfast City Council as the City Hall is illuminated in green and white on Sunday evening.

Carl Frampton will be honoured by Belfast City Council as the City Hall is illuminated in green and white on Sunday evening.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Scott Quigg is lifted up into the air by trainer Joe Gallagher after his IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena

Scott Quigg is lifted up into the air by trainer Joe Gallagher after his IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena

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Carl Frampton during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

Carl Frampton during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Carl Frampton (R) connects with a punch on Scott Quigg during their World Super-Bantamweight title contest at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Carl Frampton (R) connects with a punch on Scott Quigg during their World Super-Bantamweight title contest at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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Carl Frampton (left) and Scott Quigg during their IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.

Carl Frampton (left) and Scott Quigg during their IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.

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Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Carl Frampton (left) and Scott Quigg during their IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.

Carl Frampton (left) and Scott Quigg during their IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.

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Carl Frampton (right) and Scott Quigg during their IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.

Carl Frampton (right) and Scott Quigg during their IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.

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Carl Frampton salutes the crowd prior to the World Super-Bantamweight title contest against  Scott Quigg at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Carl Frampton salutes the crowd prior to the World Super-Bantamweight title contest against Scott Quigg at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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Actor James Nesbitt, former jockey Sir Tony McCoy and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill watch the action at Manchester Arena.

Actor James Nesbitt, former jockey Sir Tony McCoy and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill watch the action at Manchester Arena.

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Scott Quigg enters the ring prior to the World Super-Bantamweight title contest against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Scott Quigg enters the ring prior to the World Super-Bantamweight title contest against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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Carl Frampton (centre) in the ring before his IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout against Scott Quigg at Manchester Arena.

Carl Frampton (centre) in the ring before his IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout against Scott Quigg at Manchester Arena.

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Scott Quigg (centre) in the ring before his IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena.

Scott Quigg (centre) in the ring before his IBF & WBA World Super-Bantamweight Championship bout against Carl Frampton at Manchester Arena.

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Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Gavin McDonnell (left) knocks down Jorge Sanchez during their Vacant WBC Silver & Eliminator Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.

Gavin McDonnell (left) knocks down Jorge Sanchez during their Vacant WBC Silver & Eliminator Super-Bantamweight Championship bout at Manchester Arena.

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Actor James Nesbitt arrives at the Manchester Arena wearing a Northern Ireland shirt to watch the World Super-Bantamweight Title Fight between Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Actor James Nesbitt arrives at the Manchester Arena wearing a Northern Ireland shirt to watch the World Super-Bantamweight Title Fight between Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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Ryan Burnett from Belfast with Anthony Settoul from France during their Vacant WBC International Bantamweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

Ryan Burnett from Belfast with Anthony Settoul from France during their Vacant WBC International Bantamweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Paddy Barnes pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.

Paddy Barnes pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Ryan Burnett hits Anthony Settoul with a right on his way to victory in the Vacant WBC International Bantamweight Championship at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Ryan Burnett hits Anthony Settoul with a right on his way to victory in the Vacant WBC International Bantamweight Championship at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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Tyson Fury watches the action at Manchester Arena.

Tyson Fury watches the action at Manchester Arena.

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Tony McCoy watches the Ryan Burnett v Anthony Settoul fight from ringside at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Tony McCoy watches the Ryan Burnett v Anthony Settoul fight from ringside at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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Marc McCulough, from Belfast, is defeated by Isaac Lowe from Morecambe after his corner threw in the towel during their Vacant Commonwealth Featherweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

Marc McCulough, from Belfast, is defeated by Isaac Lowe from Morecambe after his corner threw in the towel during their Vacant Commonwealth Featherweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast -  Northern Ireland - 27th February 2016 - Photo by William Cherry

Marc McCulough from Belfast is defeated by Isaac Lowe from Morecambe after his corner threw in the towel during their Vacant Commonwealth Featherweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 27th February 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Marc McCulough from Belfast is defeated by Isaac Lowe from Morecambe after his corner threw in the towel during their Vacant Commonwealth Featherweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Barry McGuiggan pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.

Barry McGuiggan pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Hosea Burton knocks down Miles Shinkwin during his victory in the Vacant British Light-Heavyweight Championship at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Hosea Burton knocks down Miles Shinkwin during his victory in the Vacant British Light-Heavyweight Championship at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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Carl Froch pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.

Carl Froch pictured at the Manchester Arena as they prepare to watch Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg during Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Josh Taylor knocks down and stops Lyes Chaibi during his victory in the Super-Lightweight Contest at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Josh Taylor knocks down and stops Lyes Chaibi during his victory in the Super-Lightweight Contest at Manchester Arena on February 27, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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Carl Frampton's father Craig pictured at the Manchester Arena

Carl Frampton's father Craig pictured at the Manchester Arena

©William Cherry / Presseye

Charlie Edwards from Epsom defeats Luke Wilton during their Vacant WBC International Silver Flyweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

Charlie Edwards from Epsom defeats Luke Wilton during their Vacant WBC International Silver Flyweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Luke Wilton from Belfast and Charlie Edwards from Epsom during their Vacant WBC International Silver Flyweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

Luke Wilton from Belfast and Charlie Edwards from Epsom during their Vacant WBC International Silver Flyweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

©William Cherry / Presseye

Luke Wilton from Belfast and Charlie Edwards from Epsom during their Vacant WBC International Silver Flyweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

Luke Wilton from Belfast and Charlie Edwards from Epsom during their Vacant WBC International Silver Flyweight Championship contest on the undercard of the Frampton Quigg World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

©William Cherry / Presseye

David Teymur of Sweden celebrates his victory over Martin Svensson of Sweden in the Lightweight Bout during the UFC Fight Night  at The O2 Arena on February 27, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

David Teymur of Sweden celebrates his victory over Martin Svensson of Sweden in the Lightweight Bout during the UFC Fight Night at The O2 Arena on February 27, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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David Teymur of Sweden celebrates his victory over Martin Svensson of Sweden in the Lightweight Bout during the UFC Fight Night  at The O2 Arena on February 27, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

David Teymur of Sweden celebrates his victory over Martin Svensson of Sweden in the Lightweight Bout during the UFC Fight Night at The O2 Arena on February 27, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

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Carl Frampton during the weigh-in ahead of his fight against Scott Quigg in the World Super-Bantamweight unification fight, at Manchester Arena.

Carl Frampton during the weigh-in ahead of his fight against Scott Quigg in the World Super-Bantamweight unification fight, at Manchester Arena.

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Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre

Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre

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Happy at his work: Scott Quigg at last night’s public work-out at the Trafford Centre in Manchester

Happy at his work: Scott Quigg at last night’s public work-out at the Trafford Centre in Manchester

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Raring to go: Carl Frampton and his coach Shane McGuigan take part in a public work-out at the Trafford Centre in Manchester last night

Raring to go: Carl Frampton and his coach Shane McGuigan take part in a public work-out at the Trafford Centre in Manchester last night

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Scott Quigg takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Scott Quigg takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

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Carl Frampton poses during a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Carl Frampton poses during a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Scott Quigg poses during a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Scott Quigg poses during a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

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Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Carl Frampton takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Scott Quigg takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Scott Quigg takes part in a public work out at Intu Trafford Centre on February 23, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

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Carl Frampton celebrates defeating Scott Quigg in Saturday nights World Super-Bantamweight unification clash at the Manchester Arena.

"Santa Cruz has won titles at bantamweight, super-bantam and now featherweight. As an amateur I boxed at featherweight and came down to campaign at super-bantam as a pro and now I'm going back up so I actually think I'll be stronger.

"I'll need to be able to bully him, I need to win and I will.

"I managed to become the first Irish fighter to unify World belts and now I have the opportunity to be the first man from Northern Ireland to win World titles at two different weights."

Belfast Telegraph