Boxing

Lightning won't strike twice when Carl Frampton hits the scales for ring return

Carl Frampton during a public work-out at the Waterfront in Belfast yesterday ahead of his ring return on Saturday Picture by Declan Roughan
Andy Watters

CARL Frampton had promised that there will be no drama with his weight as he looks ahead to his headline clash against Horacio Garcia on the ‘Frampton Reborn’ spectacular at the SSE Arena on Saturday night.

‘The Jackal’ infamously weighed in a pound overweight (9st 1lb) for his ill-fated summer return against Andres Guttierez in August and the two-weight world champion has assured his fans that lightning won’t strike twice.

Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alavarez will be at ringside on Saturday night to take in a star-studded bill that includes two world title fights – Jamie Conlan’s IBF super-flyweight rumble with Jerwin Ancajas and Zolani Tete versus Siboniso Gonya at bantam.

Also on the card is Paddy Barnes who defends his WBO European Flyweight title against Eliecer Quezada (21-6-3), all-action Dubliner Jono Carroll, Tommy McCarthy, Steven Ward, Marco McCullough and highly-rated rookie Lewis Crocker.

Frampton has described the line-up as “probably the best that Ireland has ever seen” and says it’s a privilege to be the headline act. It’s his first fight with Jamie Moore in his corner and he’ll also be fighting under the MTK banner out of Frank Warren’s Queensbury Promotions stable for the first time.

The former super-bantamweight and featherweight titlist is adamant that there will be no slip-ups ahead of his first taste of action since losing to Leo Santa Cruz on January 28.

“Lightning won’t strike twice,” he said.

“The weight is fine and I’ll do it comfortably.”

News that box office pound-for-pound star will be at ringside has added an extra touch of magic to what should be a memorable night for fight fans – particularly if Conlan can upset the bookies and dethrone Ancajas.

“It’s great that ‘Canelo’ will be ringside – it will add even more of a buzz to what’s already one of Belfast’s biggest ever fight bills,” said Frampton.

“But as much as I respect ‘Canelo’, he won’t have much to cheer about. Garcia is a good fighter and I’m not taking him lightly, but I have to beat him and I won’t be distracted from the task at hand.

“If anything, this might put a bit of pressure on Garcia since he has Mexico’s most famous boxer and one of the sport’s biggest superstars is there to support him.

“It will weigh on his mind that he doesn’t want to get a beating in front of ‘Canelo’, but I plan on putting on a show for the Belfast public.”

Approximate starting times for Saturday night’s fights

Carl Frampton v Horacio Garcia (11.15pm)

Jamie Conlan v Jerwin Ancajas (10.15pm)

Paddy Barnes v Eliecer Quezada (9.25pm)

Jono Carroll v Humberto de Santiago (8.35pm)

Zolani Tete v Siboniso Gonya (7.25pm)

David Oliver Joyce v TBC (6.25)

Marco McCullough v Jason Braille (5.55pm)

Steven Ward v TBC (5.25pm)

Tommy McCarthy v Blaise Mendollo (4.55pm)

Lewis Crocker v TBC, Gary Cully c Youssef Al Hamidi, Alex Dickinson v Milen Paunov (float)

 

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