By Jonny Stapleton
Carl Frampton admits he almost cried when he heard he was no longer facing Kiko Martinez for the European title this Saturday night.
Ironically the ‘Belfast Boy’, who hoped to beat the Spaniard to become European super bantamweight main man, thought mentor Barry McGuigan was preparing to tell him a joke as he delivered the bad news.
A quickly arranged Commonwealth title fight with Mark Quon has since cured the ‘Jackal’s’ heart ache and if there are to be any tears in the Odyssey Arena this weekend they will be tears of joy.
The 24 year old hot prospect is delighted to be challenging for the prestigious domestic honour and is grateful that Quon, unlike a few more prestigious names, took the fight at such short notice.
“It’s a massive night, it’s the Odyssey Arena, in front of maybe 10,000 people – that’s what’s got me fired up. I was disappointed after hearing about the Martinez fight. I felt like crying to be honest because I trained so hard. Barry said “who do you want next?” and I said get me anyone in Europe for that European title. We tried everyone with no joy so we went the Commonwealth route and this lad took it. Quon has stepped up to the plate, a lot of people didn’t want to take the fight who were in training, who were fit.”
The Commonwealth title may not be as prestigious as the EBU strap, but it is a major title and one that means a lot to Frampton.
The Gerry Storey trained pugilist believes winning on Saturday will be another successful step towards his world title dream. He also believes the more short term ramifications of victory could be a clash with the winner of Jason Booth and Scott Quigg’s British title fight.
“It’s a major title, a title I said I wanted to win when I turned pro, Commonwealth, British, European and then hopefully a world title one day. He’s boxing Scott Quigg for the British title, whoever wins that, I’ll have the Commonwealth title and they’ll have the British so that could be a massive fight for both titles. We’re also looking at the Kiko fight because I still want that, you can’t blame the lad for pulling out but hopefully one day that fight gets made as well.”