Carl Frampton insists Josh Warrington is, at most, the fifth best fighter in the featherweight division and believes the Leeds man is the weakest of the four current title holders ahead of their upcoming bout.
Warrington [27(6)-0] upset the odds to beat Lee Selby at Elland Road in May, claiming the IBF featherweight world title and extending his undefeated record in the process.
Now, in his first defence, he voluntarily takes on Frampton [26(15)-1(0)] at the Manchester Arena next Saturday night [December 22nd], live on BT Sport Box Office.
Warrington again enters the bout as an underdog and Frampton feels that the oddsmakers have gotten it right this time.
Indeed, along with himself, the two-weight world champion believes the other three beltholders in the division – Leo Santa Cruz (WBA), Gary Russell Jr (WBC) and Oscar Valdez (WBO) – are superior to Warrington.
Then there are the likes of Abner Mares, who may soon move up, and JoJo Diaz who Frampton did not address in his rankings.
“I rank Warrington as fourth among the four world title holders,” Frampton revealed before reiterating his own claim that he is the world’s best.
“I believe I’m the top featherweight on the planet but I have to beat one of the title holders to prove it – I lost to Santa Cruz.”
Frampton has put this defeat down to a slight underperfomance and believes a big win over Warrington can help raise his star once again.
The 31-year-old outlined how “I want to win this fight convincingly and prove that I’m one of the best in the world.”
“I want to win this fight and I want to make a big statement doing it,” he added before again pointing out how he feels he has been written off by some.
“You lose to Santa Cruz the fight after, and the fight after that was Garcia – I had some managerial issues and I didn’t have much preparation for that one.”
“I had just six and a half weeks and I tired against Garcia towards the end. But in the early rounds was some of the best boxing I had in years. I think some people wrote me off after losing to Santa Cruz and because I tired against Garcia.”
While he tired against Garcia, Frampton’s tank seemed to be in tact in subsequent fights with Nonito Donaire and Luke Jackson and he feels he will have far too much for the relentless English champion.
‘The Jackal’ noted how “I have beaten big names and Warrington has nothing I’ve never seen before – so I think my experience will count for a lot in this fight.”
“I have enough power to hurt him and in every single department I’m better than him. I could stop him but I am preparing for 12 solid rounds when we face off. I am a level above Warrington and anyone he’s ever fought before.”
Looking to button down the position as Ireland’s greatest ever and ensure he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, Frampton sees his clash with Warrington as the first in a number of legacy-defining fights.
The Ulsterman described how “I have spoken about potentially moving up to super-featherweight – I want to be remembered as a great fighter and winning fights in three divisions.”
“I want to win this fight against Warrington, then unify the division and then maybe have a crack at the big boys.”