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Shane McGuigan is confident Carl Frampton will show bite

By David Kelly

As calm as he had been during the moments of crisis, Shane McGuigan was an angry man in the bowels of the Don Haskins Centre in El Paso, Texas. Lessons would be learned and mistakes never repeated.

This was the afternoon of Carl Frampton's American debut when he was expected by just about everyone to dismantle Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez jr with ease but instead Shane witnessed his friend and fighter dig himself out of a double knockdown hole in the first round and box his way to a unanimous points victory.

Job done, but not in the explosive fashion we had all become accustomed to.

Fast forward to five days until the Jackal meets Scott Quigg at the Manchester Arena and Shane's mood could hardly be more serene. "Carl has ticked all the boxes in the weeks leading up to this fight. I can see him doing a real number on Quigg, I'm very confident," said Shane.

"Leading up to El Paso, there were little issues in camp that didn't help, like he pulled a hamstring so he couldn't do as much sprinting and he got cut a couple of times. Then two weeks before the fight he was sweating more but he was actually holding more water so there was a false sense of security about his weight. He thought he was lighter.

"So for the first time he had to deal with a crisis - he was down for the first time as an amateur or pro. Because of the thick canvas he couldn't use his legs the way he wanted to, but he dealt with it and we learned from it. You live and learn."

Frampton would later admit that he had started his camp for the Gonzalez bout carrying a little too much weight, promising it would be an issue never to raise its head again.

Shane explained: "I know his body gets heavy in between camps so he just needs the adequate amount of time to take it off. It's not that he eats bad food, he eats really good food but he likes big portions.

"So for this camp we have had a chef prepare the meals and have them delivered so we know the exact amount and what is being taken. There's a few more carbs in his diet but he's not overloading.

"He has been looking great in the gym, he's had top quality sparring… Quigg has never come up against anyone similar to Carl.

"I've always watched Quigg because he was always seen as a possible opponent and they have kept him winning to maximise his purse because this is his only chance of a pay-per-view fight. But we didn't set out to just have one pay-per-view fight with Carl.

"Quigg's strength is that he is world class at what he does but his weaknesses are domestic level. Carl is the much more rounded fighter.

"Quigg works the body well, can be hard to hit clean and has a high workrate. He comes on strong when the opponent has no power... Carl showed against Kiko Martinez that he can pull out a shot, even half hit you to knock you out.

"He can box on the back foot or front foot. Quigg is a big specimen, he boils down to the weight and that is his biggest attribute but he's never fought a super-bantamweight with the skill set Carl has."

Shane's success with Carl has caught the eye of everyone in UK boxing and silenced many of the doubters who questioned whether or not the young coach could lead a fighter to boxing's summit. Together they have progressed as coach and fighter while at the same time developing a strong friendship away from the gym.

"Carl is so unique, there's no ego. He's very self assured and knows how good he can be and how great he can be," Shane added. "He doesn't go boasting about it, he's a humble guy and that's what makes working with him so enjoyable. If I was coming to the gym and being met with an ego every day it would kill me.

"I think that's why we work so well together and why we've progressed well together.

"Carl always had the talent even though he never got funded as an amateur. Dad (manager Barry McGuigan) saw a lot in Carl and gave him the opportunity… and there's still another good 10 per cent to come out of him.

"Quigg and his coach Joe Gallagher have tried to get into his head but that just gets Carl revved up. Chris Avalos and Kiko Martinez tried to get into his head and he produced his best performances."

Shane expects nothing less than Frampton's finest display come Saturday night - one that Quigg simply won't be able to handle.

Belfast Telegraph


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