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Kiko Martinez has nothing that can surprise me, says Carl Frampton

By Steve Wellings

Belfast's Titanic Quarter may well be the venue to host Carl Frampton's world title fight with Kiko Martinez but the man known as The Jackal knows it will certainly not be plain sailing on September 6.

There were no hostilities as the pair came to face-to-face to announce details of the IBF super-bantamweight showdown and while Frampton reckons that his time to shine has arrived, he also believes that it would be a mistake to underestimate the threat posed by Martinez.

"Kiko's a hard man and I respect everything he's done but I will be victorious," said Frampton.

"We have a bit of history from the first fight and I think there's going to be fireworks. Kiko's probably improved as a fighter but I know that I've definitely improved as a fighter.

"I know everything about Kiko now, I know how he fights. He has one style, he's aggressive and he comes forward. I've been there and dealt with it before and that will benefit me.

"There were a few potential venues being talked about but this is the best, I'm glad it's here. There's a lot of pressure on me.

"Barry (McGuigan) was saying that I would be a world champion from two or three fights into my career. This is the first time I've fought for a world title and there will be pressure and a massive crowd. People are expecting me to win this fight but it will be hard."

Promoter McGuigan predicts that the specially-built arena, at the site of the BBC Proms, will break new ground in Belfast boxing with tiered seating and a 16,000 capacity making for an historic occasion.

"The first fight was spectacular. It see-sawed for the first half-dozen rounds and Kiko has since gone on to win the world title which he has defended twice. He's coming back here for redemption, to set the record straight," said McGuigan.

Martinez, on the other hand, sees it slightly differently.

The 28-year-old Spaniard views himself as a hardened road warrior who is travelling back to Northern Ireland to complete a job he failed to finish the first time.

"It's not about revenge for me; it's a challenge I have to overcome," he said.

"It's nothing personal. I'm giving Frampton the opportunity and every country would be envious of holding a fight like this. I'm used to boxing away from home and you are going to see the best of me on the night."

While Martinez was quick to point out that he and Frampton are not friends, he revealed that he has been hounding his team for this rematch, to show the changes that trainer Pablo Sarmiento has implemented.

"I think that my defence has improved, my physical shape and my mind are stronger than before.

"Sometimes you think that the fight has already been won but that would be a bad mistake for Frampton.

"It will be a long fight and I don't see Frampton winning by stoppage and I don't think I will win early either."

Carl's trainer Shane McGuigan offered a candid assessment of the September 6 mega-fight.

"It'll be tough while it lasts but I think Carl will come out with a victorious knockout," said Shane.

"Kiko got a lucky title shot and he went on to defend it twice but now it's Carl Frampton's time to win the world title and go on to bigger and better things."

Despite the untested location, Barry McGuigan expects a raucous evening.

"We are going to transplant the atmosphere from the Odyssey Arena out to here," he said.

"I don't think it's ever been like this before."

Tickets go on sale Saturday, July 5 – £40, £70, £100. Premium seating from £150 and VIP.

Belfast Telegraph


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