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Carl Frampton dismisses criticism of choice of opponent Horacio Garcia

Carl Frampton [23(14)-1(0)] is a tiny 1/200 to win his big homecoming fight next month, but the Tigers Bay featherweight believes that detractors need to look at the bigger puncher.

‘The Jackal’ boxes unheralded Mexican Horacio Garcia [33(24)-3(0)-1] on the ‘Frampton Reborn’ at the SSE Odyssey Arena on Saturday November 18th.

It’s undoubtedly a step down in opposition following an eleven month run in which he faced Scott Quigg and Leo Santa Cruz twice.

However since his rematch loss to Santa Cruz, Frampton has been out of the ring, seeing a homecoming with Andres Gutierrez fall through as well as widespread changes to his team. During the Summer the Ulsterman parted company with the McGuigan family and linked up with Frank Warren, Mack The Knife Global, and new trainer Jamie Moore.

With all this in mind, Frampton feels that Garcia is an acceptable opponent.

Writing in his weekly column for the Sunday Life, Frampton stated that “it’s certainly not going to be a one-round demolition job. The guy is tough and for him it’s the chance of a lifetime to make a big breakthrough.

“He will give me the test I need at this point in my career to see where I’m at as a fighter following the worst year of my career.”

Frampton does not agree with the criticism he has received from some quarters which argues that Garcia is too weak an opponent.

The Belfast 30 year old described how “some have criticised the choice of Garcia as my next opponent but people have to understand that by the time the fight happens I will have been out of the ring for ten months and on top of that there has been a lot of things going on in the background.”

“I’m with a new coach and a new team, this all takes time to bed in.”

“Any fighter coming back from a loss and a long time out of the ring cannot just walk straight back in and face one of the best in the world. It’s not like an Xbox game, we’re not robots.”

As well as a way to return from ten months out, Frampton sees the fight as a means to make a statement.

In his two most notable fights, Garcia went the ten-round distance with both rising prospect JoJo Diaz and three-weight champion Hozumi Hasegawa.

Frampton noted how “for me it’s about getting back to winning ways and making a statement that I’m ready to look ahead to 2018 for some big fights and for my promoter Frank Warren to see that I am ready to go for a world title shot.

“If I do become the first guy to stop Garcia then that would be a big bonus and send a message to the rest of the featherweights that I’m really back and gunning for the top men.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie