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Frampton v Gutierrez: Carl excited to return to 'best fight city in world' ahead of Belfast bout

By Gareth Hanna

Carl Frampton says that Belfast is the 'best fight city in the world' as he looks forward to fighting at the city's SSE Arena this summer.

It was confirmed at Wednesday's 1pm press conference that Frampton will fight Mexican Andres Gutierrez at the SSE Arena on July 29.

The bout will be a WBC featherweight eliminator as Frampton looks to bounce back from his only professional defeat.

"I'm very excited to be boxing at home again," he said at the Europa Hotel. "I believe that my best performances are when I box at home.

Watch press conference: Carl Frampton to fight Andres Gutierrez at Belfast's SSE Arena on July 29 

"The Odyssey (now SSE Arena) is where I believe my best performance of my career has been against Chris Avalos. The atmosphere in there can't be replicated anywhere else. When you go outside, the noise can be lost in the sky.

"I wanted to fight at home but I wanted a hard fight. I didn't want to go in against a nobody and mug the fans off. If I'm not at my best, I might lose this fight. I'm up for it, I'm training hard and I can't wait."

Frampton hasn't fought in his home city since that IBF World super bantamweight title fight against Avalos in February 2015 and has missed the Belfast build-up.

"(I've missed) the atmosphere really," he said. "The whole buzz around the city on fight week. It's great. There's something special about Belfast. I think it's the best fight city in the world. My last four fights have been away from home but I've been desperately wanting to get back home. I'm just glad I'm here."

Opponent Gutierrez has lost just one of his 37 professional fights to date and Frampton says he won't be easily beaten:

"Leo Santa Cruz didn't want to fight Andres Gutierrez when he was at super-bantamweight. This guy's an avoided fighter. I was close to fighting Andres in El Paso. The performance I had that night, if I had fought him, who knows what would have happened. Both of us have improved since then and it's going to make for a better fight."

Frampton's coach Shane McGuigan says the 23 year-old Mexican provides perfect opposition.

"This is something Carl needed to get himself hungry again," he said. "He's been in two back to back fights with Santa Cruz. When you prepare for somebody twice and look to prepare yourself for him a third time, you mentally get a bit stale.

"(Gutierrez) has one defeat which I thought was controversial. I thought he won that so he's practically unbeaten. Carl has got to be on his A game to win and get himself back to those elite fights."

And Gutierrez himself fancied his chances of upholding his impressive career record.

"I'm ready for this fight," he said. "I will give my best. I'm going to give you a great show here in Belfast. I've been training really hard for this opportunity and I won't leave people disappointed.

"This is a big challenge for me. I'm going to give my best, work hard, defeat Frampton and give you a good fight to watch."

Tickets will go on sale on Thursday morning at 10am priced £40, £75, £115 and VIP £250 and are available from the SSE Arena and Ticketmaster websites.

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