BOXING: McGuigan unworried as Frampton ramps up the pressure

Barry McGuigan with Carl Frampton and Andres Gutierrez  during a press conference at the Europa Hotel in Belfast on Thursday.
Barry McGuigan with Carl Frampton and Andres Gutierrez during a press conference at the Europa Hotel in Belfast on Thursday.

Carl Frampton’s manager and promoter Barry McGuigan says he has no qualms over the Jackal’s assertion that a second successive defeat could spell the end of his career.

Frampton is preparing to face Mexican Andres Gutierrez in Saturday’s world featherweight title eliminator and after losing his second fight with Leo Santa Cruz in Las Vegas in January, the 30-year-old Belfast boxer said there would be ‘no future’ should he slip to another loss.

However, McGuigan, himself a former world featherweight champion, is unconcerned that Frampton is ramping up the pressure on himself ahead of his eagerly anticipated homecoming fight at the SSE Arena.

“He has always put pressure on himself. He always wants to perform the best he can and uses whatever triggers that by putting the onus on himself,” McGuigan said.

“Carl wants to win spectacularly. He wants to box the ears off this guy and take him out.

“I’m 100% confident and I think we are looking at a world title fight before the end of the year - but first we’re focused on Saturday night.”

Santa Cruz, who was beaten by Frampton in New York in their first fight before avenging the defeat at the start of the year, is unwilling to travel to Northern Ireland for a third bout.

McGuigan, though, has suggested that Welsh boxer and IBF champion Lee Selby could be next on Frampton’s radar in a huge showdown before Christmas.

First, Frampton must overcome the challenge posed by Gutierrez, who says he is determined to seize his opportunity and spring an upset.

Speaking through an interpreter at a press conference on Thursday, the 24-year-old - ranked eighth by the World Boxing Council - said: “I’ve been waiting for this for many years. I’m not going to let it pass

“I am ready to go into the spotlight of a big arena. I am right on the weight and ready for this fight.

“I know I am a visitor here in Belfast and the fans are going to be noisy but I will have 100m Mexicans back home who will be behind me and willing me to win this fight.”

Frampton’s defeat against Leo Santa Cruz in Las Vegas was the first of his career and the Jackal is determined to put on a show in front of his fans on Saturday night.