28 March 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Carl Frampton claims the nature of the options team Kiko Martinez wanted on his future career is proof that the Spaniard, and not the Belfast native, was afraid of a potential EBU clash.
Martinez said last week, that fear and not finance, as Barry McGuigan previously suggested, was the true catalyst behind Framptons decision to turn down a March 5 Kings Hall-hosted European title fight.
However, The Jackal revealed that matters outside the ring rather fear of doing the business inside the squared circle prompted him to turn down the chance to trade leather with Bernard Dunnes former foe.
The reigning Celtic super-bantamweight champion, who expects to be out again in May, claims both he and mentor McGuigan agreed to the bout in a matter of seconds before being seriously deterred when they saw the fight contract.
Indeed so bad were the terms, according the Tigers Bay native, that it suggests team Martinez thought a Frampton victory was highly likely.
There is no way I am afraid of Martinez, Frampton, who completed a sky dive for suicide and drug awareness group FASA on Saturday, said in response to Martinezs claims printed in the Mirror last week.
As soon as Barry put it to me I said yes straight away lets get it on. Barry was of the same opinion. We wanted the fight, but they wanted to tie me down if I beat Martinez. I agree if the opportunity comes sometime you have to take it, but the circumstances have to be right.
The way I look at it is, they offered us the fight we accepted and what they came back with suggested they highly suspected that I would win. They wanted to cover their backs and tie me down.
They must have seen what I did to my last opponent, who Kiko also faced and got worried. I hurt the lad and got him out of there. Kiko was cut by him and only won on points.
Myself and Kiko is a big fight, obviously because of his association with Bernard Dunne and what he has being saying about myself and Willie Casey of late, but it wont be happening yet.
However, whilst he claims that if the conditions were right he would fight the man that had Bernard Dunne gone in 86 seconds, Frampton admits he wouldnt be ready for the Cuban that had Willie Casey gone in just less than three minutes just over a week ago.
Manager of Guillermo Rigondeaux -who stopped brave Willie Casey in a one-sided WBA interim title fight in City West on March 19- Gary Hyde, claimed he would love to bring the Cuban sensation back to Ireland and was open to defending against Frampton.
However, the McGuigan-managed and Gerry Storey-trained hot prospect honestly admitted he wouldnt yet be ready for the two-time world and Olympic gold medallist.
Frampton, who commended Big Bangs bravery yet questioned his reasoning for challenging Rigondeaux, thinks the Cuban is the best in the division at the present time, but does have aspirations to hold that title in 18 months time.
I will be honest, I am not ready for Rigondeaux. It is too soon for me to fight him. I am not stupid. Look what he did to Willie Casey. He is the best in the division right now and could become pound-for-pound champion of the world. I can and will get to the top, but it wouldnt realistic to say I would fight Rigondeaux now. In 18 months I would welcome that fight. After what happened to Casey last I am the new kid on the block at this weight. If everyone gets behind me there is a real chance I will become champion of the world one day.