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Frampton v Santa Cruz: Carl not seduced by high life as he aims to fulfil lofty ambitions

By David Kelly

The slot machines are ringing out 24-7, the tables are rolling the dice before breakfast is served and Carl Frampton is quite literally at the top of the MGM Grand hotel surveying the Las Vegas strip like every world renowned entertainer who has gone before him.

The luxurious Sky lofts in the MGM can be booked for a mere £750 per night and the man from Tigers Bay says he could get used to the added comforts if not the hedonistic lifestyle that weaves its way throughout every sinew of this gambling capital of the world. Just getting to the exclusive rooms requires a special key for the lift.

Along with a personal steam room, Frampton has his own butler on call who for an extra $25 will even run a bath for the WBA World featherweight champion.

Unsurprisingly the humble champion hasn't taken up such an offer. While some could easily be enveloped by the pampered approach to the headline act, Frampton can easily set it aside and focus on the business of retaining his WBA World featherweight title in the early hours of Sunday morning in the MGM's Grand Garden Arena.

"This place really is amazing, there's everything you could want. Fighting in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand is something that I couldn't really have dreamed of," said Frampton as he looked ahead to his rematch with Leo Santa Cruz, having also had a personal chef for the past four weeks since landing in Vegas.

Working out at former World welterweight champion Shawn Porter's gym, he has whipped himself into perfect shape and having rented the home of top fighter Robert Guerrero he moved into the MGM at the start of the week along with manager Barry McGuigan and the members of his promotional team, Cyclone Promotions.

"The chef we've had has been great, he used to work with Ricky Hatton when he had his fights in Vegas so he knew exactly what we needed. It's all about getting me in the best shape to beat Santa Cruz, that's my job," he said.

"Moving up to featherweight from super-bantamweight has really helped me. It's only four pounds which may not seem a lot but to a fighter it is and this week I've only needed one sweat session to keep my weight on track."

A public work-out yesterday gave evidence of the rising numbers of the Jackal's army of fans who are landing in Vegas for the biggest night of the 29-year-old's career.

"There's been quite a few more people stopping me for autographs and selfies… the support is going to be great and I think the weigh-in is going to special, they'll make some noise," said Frampton.

As for the business he has to take care of when tangling with Santa Cruz for a second time, the Jackal is adamant that he will handle whatever comes his way when his Mexican rival seeks revenge.

"Although he's taller than me, I'm going to be the bigger man on the night and he can't bully me," said Frampton.

"That's where he gets his success, he bullies people but he can't do that to me. I'm hurting him and making him think twice and he's never been in that position before."

Belfast may seem a world away at the moment but Frampton is remaining in his own tunnel vision, preparing to show the Vegas gamblers why he's a blue chip entertainer.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph