McGuigan: Frampton will start big year with big performance

Jonny Stapleton

Carl Frampton will start what will prove to be a big year with a big performance in the York Hall this Saturday night, according to Mentor Barry McGuigan.

The Commonwealth Champion makes the first defence of his super bantamweight title under the glare of the sky Sports cameras and whilst he is not looking past the challenge of the rangy Kris Hughes, McGuigan believes this is the year the ‘Belfast Boy’ could become Europe’s main man.

The former featherweight champion of the world has worked to try and decrease the hype built pressure on his rising star of late, but honestly revealed Team Frampton would be disappointed if the British and European titles were not added to the collection in 2012.

Picture Ciaran 'Cux' Cullen: Frampton Focused on Kris Huhges

“This is the start of a big year for Carl. We don’t want to be putting pressure on him, but Carl loves to perform and I am sure he will put on a performance against Kris Hughes. We are confident Carl has what it takes to beat this kid and make a good start to the year. I haven’t got a crystal ball and I don’t want to be making predictions about fights coming up, but we will be disappointed if Carl is not British and European champion by the end of the year,”  McGuigan told Mirror Sport yesterday.

Such is the excitement that surrounds ’The Jackal’ that fight fans tend to look beyond his upcoming bouts preferring to dream of potential mega clashes down the line.

The Clones Cyclone, however is adamant the former Irish amateur champion’s head is not in clouds and stressed his focus is fully set on former Commonwealth title challenger Hughes.

Frampton has put in 10 weeks hard training for a clash that tops the York Hall Matchroom show and sparred 159 rounds for a fight that some are predicting won’t go the full 12.

“Hughes is a tough difficult opponent. He is tall rangy and awkward and Carl has trained accordingly. He has had the best camp he ever had. He just gets better each time. He has put in 10 great weeks and sparred of 159 rounds. Most of those rounds have been with bigger guys too.”

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