Carl Frampton coach Jamie Moore predicts career best against Josh Warrington
HE was in Rocky Fielding's corner for his world title fight at Madison Square Garden last Saturday (against Canelo Alvarez no less) and he'll be in Carl Frampton's on Saturday night but Jamie Moore’s priority yesterday was being on time to pick his two kids up from school.
Moore’s wife (a nurse) was at work, so he was on the school run which was a welcome slice of normality amid a hectic period for the affable Manc.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he says and we discuss Jose Mourinho’s exit – he welcomes the temporary return of former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - before we get down to the reason we’re all here: Frampton versus Josh Warrington at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night.
Last weekend he watched helpless from the corner as Frampton stablemate Rocky Fielding was hammered into submission in three rounds by brutal Canelo bodyshots.
“It was always a big ask,” says Moore.
“I knew how tough a job it was beforehand. Rock didn’t stick to what he should have been doing, he stayed in the pocket straight away and that wasn’t the plan. The plan was for him to use his height and reach but when you’re in there with a fighter like Canelo it’s easier said than done.
“Fighters at that sort of level make you do things that you don’t want to do. He got to him straight away with a bodyshot and then it was a snowball effect from there really.
“He did well to keep getting up but it wasn’t our night.”
In that fight, like Saturday night’s, the reigning champion is the underdog. Fielding was a huge outsider against Canelo while Frampton is odds-on to take away the IBF featherweight belt Warrington ripped out of Lee Selby’s bloodied grasp in the summer.
“Warrington is an underdog but this is one of those fights where the styles are going to gel,” Moore predicts.
“It’ll be an entertaining fight for the fans and even though I believe Carl will win it, and win it comfortably and clearly, physically it’s going to be a difficult fight because it’s going to be boxed at a high tempo.
“From the get-go I said to Carl: ‘To win this fight you just need to be yourself but you need to do it at a gear higher than you usually do.
“We started the camp at a nice pace early on to make sure that his body was conditioned to it by the time the fight came round. I had a picture in my head of where I wanted Carl to be at the start of the camp but he’s past that, he’s better than I wanted him to be, he’s by far the best I’ve had him.
“I’ve had him 16 months and this will be the fourth fight and this is by far the best camp he’s ever had and the best form I’ve seen him in. Honestly I think it’s going to be a career best performance.”
To hit those heights, Frampton will have to better his electric display over 12 action-packed rounds against Leo Santa Cruz in New York in the summer of 2016.
Santa Cruz was superb but Frampton, stepping up from super-bantam, was better. He became the featherweight champion for the first time, matching the achievement of Steve Collins by becoming Ireland’s second two-weight world champion.
And he’ll need to be at his best to get past Warrington. The ‘Leeds Warrior’ matches his ferocious workrate with a ferocious fighting heart and claims he has never been put down (he says he’s never even been hurt) in 27 fights.
“The two things Warrington brings which are a concern are workrate and determination, he is a really determined kid,” said Moore.
“Those things aren’t easily overcome and I’ve made sure that Carl understands that this isn’t going to be physically easy, it’s going to be a tough night’s work but as long as you prepare for that mentally and physically then you win the fight.
“I believe Carl is a much more talented fighter – as in the full package – than Josh but Josh’s best attributes are very good attributes to have so that in itself means that the fight can’t be an easy one.”
Warrington is experienced and has gone the 12 round distance in five of his last seven fights. His engine is proven and he won’t be beaten for lack of throwing punches.
Moore expects the Leeds man to be competitive but reckons Frampton will have the final say in the exchanges.
“Josh will have success in patches but Carl will win it big on the scorecards because he wins every round,” he said.
“Carl might win two minutes of a round and Josh wins one. I feel the action will ebb and flow, it’s going to be great for the fans to watch but at the end of it, even though it will have been physically tough, Carl will be a clear winner.”