CARL FRAMPTON takes on Darren Traynor in the fourth show of Frank Warren’s summer series, live on BT Sport on Saturday night. The Jackal is bidding to keep himself firmly on track for a WBO world super featherweight title showdown against Jamel Herring later this year, so he cannot afford any slip-ups against the tough Scot from Aberdeen.
Also on the card, Michael Conlan faces former world title challenger Sofiane Takoucht over ten rounds, with Troy Williamson also defending his IBF European super welterweight title against former English champion Harry Scarff. Archie Sharp defends his WBO European belt against Jeff Ofori, with elite level prospects Dennis McCann and Paddy Donovan making up the card.
We have already done three shows since lockdown and that was us dipping our toe back in the water. It was a case of getting the shows on and doing what we had to do as far as the safety aspect was concerned, while we got some of our young guys out and now we are stepping it up a gear.
Carl, a two-weight world champion, who was due to fight in the summer against Jamel Herring before the virus took hold, so now in the meantime he has got to keep busy and on Saturday he is fighting Darren Traynor as a replacement for his original opponent. Darren has been training very hard and fancies his chances.
It is something Carl has got to come through and not make any mistakes before getting to Herring in the autumn. Michael Conlan is not far off fighting for a world title and he is fighting Sofiane Takoucht, who has had 40 fights and won 35 of them. So he is very experienced and can give Michael a lot of things to think about.
If he is half the fighter we think he is then he is going to look good.
Dennis McCann is a great, young talent and that is what he is at the moment, a talent. He needs to work hard and have dedication because talent only gets you so far. For me he is one of the best young talents I have seen for many, many years.
Providing he keeps doing what he’s doing and stays focused I think he has got the potential to be one of the outstanding British fighters of his generation.
Troy Williamson v Harry Scarff is a cracking fight on paper. Troy, last time out, pole axed his opponent with an amazing KO punch and now his name is in the limelight. This is a tough fight, but we believe in him and think he has a great chance of going all the way.
Archie Sharp is going from strength to strength and has pulled some big punches out of the bag in his last few fights. I know Jeff Ofori is going to be up for it but I believe in Archie and if he wins this fight, then has one more before Christmas, he could be mandatory for a world title shot, which could be the winner of Carl against Jamel Herring.
I will be going into the fight for the first time as a married man. I am trying to buy a house and that is the plan. It is the way forward because a lot of kids my age will spend £500-600 on a pair of shoes and I will invest in houses.
I’ve heard from Naseem Hamed as I know his son very well and I went training with him the other day in Sheffield when I went sparring. He is a very nice bloke and I told him I have a better screwshot than he did! He reckons I am top class and told me to keep doing what I am doing.
I don’t go looking for power punches, if they come they come. Scarf is very awkward but he can be that all he likes because I’ve got ten rounds to pin him down and I think I will in the later rounds. With the 10oz gloves on I just need to land because I punch very hard for my weight. It looked like Scarf froze against Anthony Fowler, but his feet were too slow on the night and he couldn’t cut the ring down. I’ve got faster feet than Fowler and I genuinely believe I will get him out of there.
I want to be the man at 11st and I am confident I will beat anyone domestically.
This is my opportunity and my chance of getting back on the big stage again. I never ever thought I would be getting in the ring with Carl Frampton but now it is happening. I have to believe I can do it.
I respect anyone who steps between the ropes and even more so when they are fighting me. I think Darren is better than the original opponent and he has certainly fought at a higher level. What was going to be my first fight at super featherweight is now going to be my first at lightweight.
Darren has been training on the off-chance there were problems and he has been working for a number of weeks now, so it is not going to be an easy fight. I know that he is coming with nothing to lose and everything to gain, which brings its own pressures.
I just can’t be complacent for one second and I am looking forward to putting on a good show. I need to win because, if I lose the fight, my career is over. I’m not prepared to do that.
Legacy is a big driving force for me and if I win a third world title it will cement my place as Ireland’s greatest ever fighter, ahead of Steve Collins, Barry McGuigan, Katie Taylor and a few others. That is what I want.
Fighting and winning a world title is what I came into boxing to do and to fight big names like Carl. No disrespect, but Carl is in a position where he has a target on his back and it is a fight I want. I am in the game to be the best.
Jeff was my sparring partner for the Lyon Woodstock fight two years ago. A lot changes in two years and I have grown into a different fighter and, no disrespect, in the two years I have picked titles up and unfortunately he hasn’t.
I know Jeff keeps himself in the best shape possible and it is going to be tough. He is probably thinking he will get in and give Archie a hard night’s work, but I have been boxing since the age of seven so it is nothing unusual to me.
He is fit and will be on his game, but I am in the best shape I have ever been.
One hundred per cent I can cause an upset. Where I am from not many fighters get the opportunity so , for me, I will grab it with both hands. I’ve been training right through and I am ready to go. I don’t think he will underestimate me because he wants to keep the platform he’s got. I’ve got other plans and I am hungry to stay in the game and be in the best fights.
Winning would definitely change my life.