Often after around 20 of the 26 miles of a marathon, a runner will hit a physical and mental block where they have to make the choice of battling through or dropping out.
For 30 year old Frampton [23(14)-1(0)] he returns to the ring tomorrow night off the back of his first loss, taking on Andres Gutierrez at the SSE Odyssey Arena.
Following on from his defeat to Leo Santa Cruz, ‘The Jackal’ needs to prove to himself, his trainer, and the boxing world that he can come back, push through, and re-assert himself at the top of the division.
It’s no foregone either according to trainer Shane McGuigan who muses that “it’s hard to know how Carl is going to react to a defeat. It’s one thing doing it in the gym, it’s another thing doing it out on the main stage.”
Indeed the young trainer admits that he would be worried if Frampton doesn’t impress, stating that “there’s no point being in this game if you’re going to keep going through the motions.”
“The day that he feels he isn’t the best fighter in the world is the day I’m going to tell him to pack it in. But he does feel that he’s the best fighter in the featherweight division and it was definitely a bit of a knock of his ego, coming off the back of a loss and we were so confident going into that fight [v Santa Cruz].”
Frampton isn’t a fighter that will box into his late, or even mid, thirties and McGuigan believes that the finish is approaching and that a final push is needed.
The London-based coach outlined how “we feel Saturday night is the next chapter in his career and one that I’m excited about because we can see finish line.”
“It’s like running a marathon and you can see that 20-mile mark and you’ve got around six miles to go and you’re legs are heavy, but we’re going to crack on through, get some big fights and finish strong.”
It’s a key stage of Frampton’s career. Already a two-weight champion and an Irish boxing legend, his next few fights will give him the opportunity to enhance his legacy to previously unimaginable heights.
McGuigan wants big names and big fights. He explained that “with belts being thrown around left right and centre these days, he’s achieved and he wants the big names rather than the belts. He wants to be mixing it with the big dogs, whether that’s Lee Selby, Santa Cruz or whoever.”
“I want him to be a grudge match after this fight and really get pumped for something and then go and get Santa Cruz. I don’t know if we’re going to get Santa Cruz next, but I want a world title fight next.”
“We want to match him with big names that sell out in two or three minutes, we want to take him back to America. We need to make sure if he’s got four or five fights left in him that they’re good fights.”
“This [Gutierrez] is a fight that’s necessary from an emotional standpoint, coming off a loss he needs to get his mojo back, win and look impressive doing so. Prove it to himself that he’s still who he was.”