McGuigan on Frampton: "He thrives on pressure"
Barry McGuigan was speaking to Off the Ball ahead of Carl Frampton's world title fight19:55 Tuesday 24 January 2017, 19:55 24 Jan 2017
Carl Frampton's manager, Barry McGuigan, spoke to Off the Ball ahead of the Belfast boxer's world title rematch with Leo Santa Cruz.
Speaking on Frampton's preparations for the fight McGuigan said: "We're ticking all the boxes. Most importantly, this is a very tough fight and Carl is in great condition. We've spent four weeks out here, sparred 178 rounds so he's in the best shape of his life. And he needs to be because Santa Cruz will be coming hunting for him and I think it's going to be a replica of the last fight.
"He's saying he's going to box more - he's going to use his reach more. He won't because he won't beat Frampton at distance. Frampton is a unique guy - tremendous timing and balance and natural movement which takes away length and distance.
"He's going to have to be aggressive. That's what he does best and we're expecting that. I think the smokescreen is that he's going to box. He's not going to box. He's going to walk him down.
"He's going to target the body and they're already complaining that Frampton's cup is too high so we know that indicates they're going to go for the body.
"It's going to be another great fight and I really believe Frampton is getting better at 29 years old, almost approaching 30 - he's getting better. He's been incredible in sparring, he's knocked out a couple of sparring partners and he hasn't done that for a long time," he added.
WBA featherweight Title Contest, Barclays Centre, Brooklyn. Carl Frampton (left) in action against Leo Santa Cruz. Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/William Cherry
The Belfast boxer has been awarded a multitude of accolades recently, including being named the "Ring Magazine's Fighter of the Year" and McGuigan says it's something he thrives on: "He loves the pressure and he loves the accolades. As I said before, all of the things that he has won...he's effectively the world fighter of the year.
"But for a lot of guys that would be too much for them. For him, he thrives on pressure. He loves it. He fights better when people expect more off him," he added.
Frampton takes on Leo Santa Cruz in the rematch of their WBA featherweight title in Las Vegas this weekend.
The very best bits delivered every weekSubscribe now