Carl Frampton [23(14)-0] claims he is ready to unleash some serious power on Leo Santa Cruz this coming Saturday.
The former unified super bantamweight world champion takes on only his second championship fight at featherweight – his first being the epic world title win over the Mexican-American last Summer – and feels more at home at the weight ahead of the repeat.
‘The Jackal’ has always carried power, his 61% knockout ratio is testament to that, however, he believes now he is more familiar with life as a 126lb fighter and he is bringing fists loaded with dynamite into the ring.
“An athlete knows when he is ready to fire, when he has raised the bar and I just feel going into this re-match with Leo Santa Cruz more explosive than ever before — like a stack of dynamite waiting for the fuse to be lit,” Frampton wrote in his column for the Belfast Telegraph this week.
“Every fighter will say they’ve had a great camp but over the past weeks there have been moments in the gym when I’ve done things that have been very encouraging, moments that just give a fighter even more confidence and it’s clear to me that I’m settling even more into the featherweight division,” he added before recounting some pre-fight stories that suggest he is feeling spiteful and hitting hard ahead of a Las Vegas rematch the boxing world will watch this weekend.
“One stand-out moment came in my final sparring session in London before I headed back home for Christmas. I was set to do 12 rounds, some with a light-welterweight and the others with a featherweight, but then jarred my neck quite badly which would later need some work with the chiropractor.
“It was very sore and Shane wasn’t sure whether to stop the spar or not and it just really annoyed me because I wanted to get the 12 rounds and go home feeling good. It made me more determined to grit it out, more spiteful and determined to go on and then I just unloaded and knocked out the light-welter, cold.”
“The featherweight got in and he annoyed me because he was throwing quick tap-tap-tap shots and I caught him and his legs did a funny dance so I backed off but after I hit him again the spar was over in the 12th round.”
Frampton admits that, while it may sound unsavoury, inflicting pain within the squared circle is something he enjoys.
“I had stuck it out and produced some serious power,” he continued. “It’s a sweet feeling when you land a perfectly timed shot that knocks somebody out. That might sound barbaric but it’s the truth that in that moment it’s one of the sweetest moments for a boxer. Then in an instant you have concern for the boxer who is hurt.”
“It does boost your confidence even more when you see what you are capable of.”