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Fired-up Frampton ready to let good times roll again

 

By David Kelly in Manchester

It has not been a good year for Northern Ireland boxing on the global stage but Carl Frampton is adamant that he will end the lean spell in style on December 22 at the Manchester Arena.

Frampton is counting down to his showdown with IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington on the back of witnessing world title defeats for Paddy Barnes at Windsor Park in the summer, James Tennyson in Boston last month and the gut-wrenching loss of his world bantamweight title by Ryan Burnett 10 days ago in Glasgow.

Defeat for Frampton next month in his BT Sport Box Office event would be yet another blow for this period which has seen so much success for the sport. But the Jackal is adamant that he will once again lead the way, as fighters such as Michael Conlan and Steven Ward seek to follow in his illustrious footsteps.

"It has been a bit of a golden generation for boxing in Northern Ireland but recently with the defeats to the lads in the world title fights it has taken a hit but I plan to put that right on December 22," said Frampton.

"I genuinely believe that I will get the win, it's not going to be an easy fight but I feel that I will be ready to take the title from Warrington. I just feel I'm at a different level.

"Irish boxing has been on a bit of a high even though we have had those losses and it is probably been better in recent times, maybe than ever before.

"You know, if you look at it, Tennyson was not expected to win in his world title fight with Tevin Farmer, Ryan Burnett was unfortunate there because of the injury he suffered against Nonito Donaire and then you have Paddy who went for greatness, trying to win a world title in his sixth fight and was hit with a perfect body shot.

"Paddy can get another chance and then you have Michael Conlan who is on this bill and he could be pushing for a world title by the end of next year and I plan to be going into 2019 as a world champion and the lull in success will be over."

As for the success of boxing here, Frampton points to the impact of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association's High Performance Unit in Dublin, which brought through fighters such as Conlan and Barnes to Olympic and European glory.

"I would say the High Performance set-up has to be given credit along with the club coaches because of the way they have developed top amateurs. That obviously helps when going pro but it takes a lot more than being a good amateur to make it as a pro," added Frampton.

Conlan, who will have a 10-rounder on December 22, says he will be eager to cast an eye over Warrington as he could see a potential clash with the Leeds man down the line.

Conlan said: "A fight against Josh is something I can see happening and it is going to be some fight between him and Carl.

"Another reason that I'm intrigued in the fight is that it's a scouting mission for me.

"Win or lose, I would love to face Josh Warrington in the future. Carl and myself are friends so that won't happen, but I am definitely keeping an eye on Josh.

"If Josh loses he is still going to come again because he is young enough, hungry, determined, fit and would have the ability to become world champion again if he loses."

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