On September 6 Northern Ireland’s proud boxing jewel is set for his sink or swim moment. Carl Frampton has finalised his highly anticipated shot at world honours, against reigning IBF Super Bantamweight champion, Kiko Martinez.
Cyclone Promotions have provided an iconic venue for the world title clash, securing the historic slipway in which the Titanic was first launched. At the press conference, Barry McGuigan boasted that September 6 is set to host the largest boxing attendance in Northern Irish history.
“The Titanic Quarter is a fantastic location and this event is breaking new grounds, it will the biggest Northern Irish boxing audience in history. The capacity will be 16,000 people and it will be a spectacular venue in the shadows of the Harland and Wolff cranes.”
The pressure is on
From his first fight, McGuigan has heaped pressure on Frampton’s shoulders by tipping the man from Tigers Bay as Northern Ireland’s next big star. On his way to Super-Bantamweight glory, Frampton has picked up the European strap.
On that night, he fought and conquered the same man who he is set to face for the much coveted IBF Super Bantamweight world title: Martinez.
In losing his European title “La Sensacion” suffered a ninth round stoppage loss to the hands of Frampton, although since then the Spaniard has bounced back in remarkable fashion, scoring four consecutive knockouts. During this period Martinez was unexpectedly crowned as world champion with an emphatic win vs Jhonatan Romero, and then proceeded to defend his title twice, respectively against Jeffrey Mathebula and Hozumi Hasegawa.
Martinez has made it no secret that he doesn’t view Frampton as a friend, and the man from Alicante now sees the upcoming bout as the perfect opportunity to banish his previous demons. The Titanic Quarter is set to be a boiling furnace of Frampton supporters and despite this Martinez sees it as a challenge which will only raise his own performance.
“After a year and four months, I am back as a champion and am the one giving Frampton the opportunity. I thrive boxing away from home. On the 6th of September you will see the best of Kiko Martinez," he assured fans.
Only a matter of months ago, Frampton blasted out Hugo Cazares in the second round, claiming the mandatory position for the WBC title in the process. After that storming performance, Frampton anticipated a showdown with Mexican champion Leo Santa Cruz, although was left feeling disappointed after Cruz stalled in negotiations.
Now Frampton remains thankful to Martinez for giving him an opportunity at the belt that he so badly desires,
“I have to give Kiko a lot of credit for coming back to Belfast. I’m not going to take anything for granted but this is a fight that I am going to win. I will show that it is my time to become World Champion. I’ve been ready for this for a long time and I am more than ready now.”
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