Carl Frampton is eager to maintain his impressive stoppage record at the SSE Odyssey Arena when he returns to the venue after a two-and-a-half year absence on Saturday night.
Belfast’s two-weight world champion makes his homecoming at ‘The Jackal’s Den’ on a ‘Frampton Reborn’ fight card, live on BT Sport and BoxNation, taking on Mexican Horacio Garcia.
The 10-round featherweight bout marks Frampton’s ring return following his first pro loss to Leo Santa Cruz last January as well as his first hometown fight since 2015.
Frampton (23-1) has recorded early finishes in all six of his past bouts at the Odyssey and the 30-year-old intends to become the first fighter to stop 27-year-old Garcia (33-3-1), who has only suffered three points defeats in his 37-fight career.
“I can’t wait to get going,” said Frampton. “It’s two-and-a-half years since I last fought in Belfast and I’ve a good record here – a 100 per cent stoppage rate in the Odyssey so I’m hoping to continue that.”
Frampton and Garcia came head to head at Thursday’s final pre-fight press conference at Belfast’s Clayton Hotel, while the pair will take to the scales at the same venue on Friday afternoon.
‘The Jackal’ claims that he is feeling refreshed after changing up his backroom team, with promoter Frank Warren, advisors MTK Global and new trainer Jamie Moore now in his corner.
“I feel good,” said Frampton. “It’s the best I’ve ever felt so close to a fight if I’m being honest. I’m relaxed but excited as well. People are noticing a wee spring in my step so I’m happy and looking forward to the fight.”
The former world featherweight champion is also keen to impress superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alavarez, who will be in the Odyssey on Saturday night to support his fellow Mexican Garcia.
“Canelo is going to be ringside and it’s an honour to have him here with him making the trip the whole way to Belfast,” said Frampton. “Obviously he’ll be here supporting Horacio Garcia, but he’ll be leaving disappointed when I get the win. But it’s great to have him here.”
Saturday’s stacked fight card also features Jamie Conlan’s first world-title challenge as he goes up against Filipino IBF world super-flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas.
As his big night approaches, undefeated Conlan (19-0) admitted that he is trying to contain his excitement as he focuses overcoming the Manny Pacquiao-promoted Ancajas (27-1-1).
“It’s exciting because I’m eager to see how I do and how I perform. I’ve had a great training camp and everything is done,” said 31-year-old Conlan. “I’ve never looked as good in camp. I’d be the first to tell you that the majority of the time you’d usually have as many bad days as good days, but for this one it’s all be fantastic and I’ve had a completely different attitude.
“I feel in a great place mentally as well as physically, so I’m excited – very excited,” added Conlan, who insisted that he had no emotion when coming head to head with his southpaw foe at Thursday’s final pre-fight press conference.
“It’s always just a blank face to me. I like to get a look at the opponent to compare height and that type of thing, but it’s all done and I’ve been visualizing fighting him for the past eight weeks. I’m fully prepared.”