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Classy Carl Frampton closing in on Belfast title showdown, says McGuigan

By David Kelly

European super-bantamweight champion Carl Frampton says he is now ready for the world after his stunning sixth round knockout of Frenchman Jeremy Parodi at the Odyssey Arena.

While promoter Eddie Hearn has made an offer for the Belfast man to face WBA champion Scott Quigg, manager Barry McGuigan made it clear that their main focus is on the winner between IBF super-bantamweight champion Kiko Martinez and South Africa's mandatory challenger Jeffrey Mathebula on December 21 in Spain.

The winner of that fight is expected to have the opportunity to make a voluntary defence of the world title and that would mean McGuigan's Cyclone Promotions outfit having to come up with an offer to persuade the champion to face hard-hitting Frampton.

The Belfast man, who along with Barry and coach Shane McGuigan will be ringside in December, has no doubt he would beat either man and is relishing the chance for world glory in 2014.

"I want to be fighting for a world title in my next fight. I know whoever I am up against I'll knock them out," said Frampton, who naturally wants the fight to be in Belfast.

"Of course I want the world title in Belfast but if I have to travel to their back yard I don't care. But my Belfast fans deserve to have a world title fight. They're second to none.

"The atmosphere was even better than when I fought Martinez. No disrespect to Parodi but he's not as well known as Kiko and the fans made more noise for this fight so it shows you they are just getting behind me and no matter who I fight they would still make the same noise."

As for his brutal destruction of Parodi, who was simply outclassed, the Jackal added: "I feel I'm getting better all the time and to be honest I think I would have been a better 15-round fighter. I was feeling so fresh after the six rounds. He was a tough guy, he took some big shots.

"I very rarely got hit. I kept it long at the start, I did what Shane was telling me too and then I started to stand with him. Shane was screaming at me to go to the body to finish him off. Shane probably wanted me to throw it a little bit earlier than I did but I was just waiting for the right time.

"I think in the fifth round I hurt him to the body and he wilted and I stopped another guy who had never been stopped before. I've been working on working in close and I did that better than before. I've been hurting big guys in sparring with the same shot.

"Every fight I seem to be making bigger and better statements. I dominated this fight from start to finish and to finish a guy with a body shot is great because usually I stop them to the head."

With regard to the world title equation, manager McGuigan seems quietly confident he can deliver the chance in late February, early March. He said: "If Mathebula wins then I think we have a better chance of getting the world title next. Kiko is saying he wants to come back to Belfast and set the record straight and destroy him and knock him out and end his career. Talk is cheap.

"We will be ringside on December 21 waiting for the world champion to step out of the ring and we will be making him a substantial offer to fight in Belfast. Publicly Martinez is saying he wants to come back here but I'm not sure he does, I sincerely hope he does want to. If we get Martinez then we'll do the job even quicker than in February."

Belfast Telegraph


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