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Carl Frampton stays ice cool as rival Scott Quigg lets rip

By David Kelly

The heat is starting to rise as Carl Frampton's showdown with Scott Quigg begins to loom on the horizon but the Belfast man insists his focus will not even be singed.

Quigg has been doing his best to get under the IBF World super-bantamweight champion's skin, suggesting that the magnitude of the fight is getting to Frampton.

"He likes to be in control. His team likes to be in control as well. We've taken that control away from them, they are not in charge," said Quigg.

"A couple of times at the press conferences, they lost their rag and their cool, it just shows we are getting to them."

Frampton, though, is dimissive of any such mind games and insists that he is remaining calmly focused on the preparation for what he believes will be a career-best performance on February 27 at the Manchester Arena, which is being screened live on Sky Box Office.

"They're trying to wind me up and make me fight like I don't normally fight. So far it's not working," said Frampton.

"I like to think I'm a pretty cool character, although Quigg and his team will probably say otherwise. They think they've riled me, but I'm calm and I'm looking forward to it. There will be nerves on fight week, but at this point I'm relaxed.

"No disrespect to Scott - he's a good fighter, a student of the game and he works very hard.

"I just think I'm a much better fighter and it's going to show on the night.

"You need to be able to deliver on the night - it's all well and good talking, but the proof is in the pudding.

"I'm ready to put in the best performance of my career, and it might take that, but the best Carl Frampton beats the best Scott Quigg. It's as simple as that."

On the issue of handling the growing hype, particularly as the fight draws ever nearer, Frampton points to the fact that he has had to deal with the glare of the spotlight for some time.

"I'm used to boxing in front of big crowds and I've never really got carried away before. Boxing at home with all the expectation and media attention, I've had to deal with this kind of thing a lot but for Scott it's all new so we'll see how he handles it. I think it'll get under his skin," added Frampton.

Manager Barry McGuigan expects the occasion to bring out the best in the Jackal and overall both men delivering a fight to remember for sports fans who have been waiting for some time to see the top two UK super-bantamweights go head to head.

"Both have got the style to make it very exciting," said McGuigan.

"Quigg is more rigid than Carl, he's a good puncher to body and head, quick on his feet, fairly tight defence. Carl is more fluent.

"But both are explosive. Frampton can really bang to body and head, he's looser and has a tremendous chin despite the fact that he was down in his last fight. That was complacency.

"It's a clash of styles with the potential to be another Eubank-Benn, another Froch-Groves."

McGuigan believes that both men should feel grateful to have each other on the domestic scene as it has led to a fight which will see both earn the biggest pay-days of their careers.

"I went through my entire career without having somebody like Carl has got," he said.

"I hadn't got anybody at the same weight who was an equally good competitor that I could fight.

"They've both got each other and that's going to benefit the boxing public and the wider public at large because this is reaching beyond boxing."

The show will also feature Northern Ireland boxers Marc McCullough and Ryan Burnett in Commonwealth featherweight and WBC international bantamweight title fights respectfully.

East Belfast's Luke Wilton and Conrad Cummings of Coalisland are also on the card.

Belfast Telegraph


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