IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington 27-0 (6) believes he is getting former two-division world champion Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton 26-1 (15) at the right time of his career. The pair will clash in a tantalising style match-up at Manchester Arena on December 22.
The 31-year-old Frampton of Belfast in Northern Ireland is an almost 10-year pro who won his first world title at 122-pounds against Kiko Martinez five years ago. In 2016 he moved up to featherweight to defeat Leo Santa Cruz for the WBA 126-pound world title, returning the title in the rematch that was awarded to the rugged Mexican by majority decision.
Warrington believes that the hard fights over the years are beginning to catch up with Frampton, who the 27-year-old says in no longer in his prime.
“I don’t think so,” Warrington said to the NewsLetter. “We’ll see in Manchester and obviously he is going to train like a demon. He is going to come in there believing he is back to his best, but he has had a lot going on outside of boxing and had a bit of inactivity after the Santa Cruz fight.”
Frampton’s last three fights were a UD10 over Horacio Garcia last November, a UD12 over Nonito Donaire in April and a TKO9 of Luke Jackson in August.
“Alright, he had a short camp for the Horacio Garcia fight, but I don’t think he can take too much away from that,” continued Warrington.
“With Donaire he did what he had to do to win and I don’t think Luke Jackson posed too much of a threat.
“Something tells me he is just not the same Carl Frampton as he was.
“Has he lost a little bit of edge? I don’t know, but I do know that I am reaching my peak years.
“Before my last fight against Lee Selby I would have thought I would just be happy to win, but I came out of the ring thinking ‘who’s next?’.
“The fire is burning more than ever in the belly and I’ve worked hard to win this world title.
“Now I’ve got it I want to keep it and finish 2018 as champion with two massive wins.
“The first at Elland Road making history for the city of Leeds, my kids being born and now this could be the perfect end to my year.”