Barry McGuigan has high hopes for Carl Frampton's future

Barry McGuigan believes Saturday’s world-title unification clash is the most important fight of Carl Frampton’s career as the Belfast native prepares to finally meet long-time rival Scott Quigg. 

Barry McGuigan has high hopes for Carl Frampton's future

The pair clash in the Manchester Arena this weekend with Frampton defending his IBF world super-bantamweight title, while Quigg puts his WBA belt on the line in the Sky Box Office pay-per-view bout.

It will be Frampton’s third title defence and should he emerge victorious, the 29-year-old Belfast fighter will surpass the achievement of his mentor and manager McGuigan who made two successful defences of his WBA featherweight title before his infamous 1986 loss to Texan Steve Cruz.

Frampton and 27-year-old Quigg have been on a collision course for over five years and promotional issues were finally ironed out last November to book this weekend’s clash between the undefeated foes. But while McGuigan believes his protégé is heading into a “legacy” fight, the Clones native maintains that Frampton will go on to even bigger showdowns once he defeats Quigg.

“It’s the most important fight of his career, simply because of the level of expectation for the fight itself, not necessarily for either fighter but people have wanted the fight and he’s very motivated for that,” said McGuigan.

“You have to say Scott Quigg is the best opponent he’s fought, simply because he was able to get rid of Kiko in a couple of rounds,” added the Irish boxing legend, referring to Quigg’s knockout win over Spaniard Kiko Martinez last July – an opponent whom Frampton has twice defeated.

“This is definitely the most important fight of his life but I don’t think it will be the most important fight (of his career). I think there are great fights for him in the future but it’s entirely up to Carl and how much of an appetite he has,” continued McGuigan.

“His eyes are focused on Saturday night, as are mine but as his manager my job is to pitch forward and see what’s next. There’s huge fights out there for him,” added the ‘Clones Cyclone’.

Tensions flared in the first promotional tour to promote the bout with Frampton and Quigg’s respective teams continually trading words. Not only does a rivalry exist between the fighters, but ill feeling has also been evident between Frampton’s trainer Shane McGuigan (Barry’s son) and Joe Gallagher, who coaches Quigg.

Gallagher was named Trainer of the Year in Britain for 2015 and his stable now boasts three world champions, including Quigg.

Meanwhile, Shane McGuigan has gradually attracted an impressive roster of talent to his own Battersea gym, working with Frampton as well as former world champion David Haye, title challenger George Groves and prospects such as undefeated Tyrone middleweight Conrad Cummings.

Barry McGuigan has backed his son to produce a successful game-plan to outwit Gallagher and Quigg on fight night with the bookies also ranking Frampton as favourite to win.

“He’s made for this. He has a different level of calmness than I had and self-assuredness,” said McGuigan of his son, who is a former Ulster amateur champion.

“He’s not a cocky kid, he’s very good at what he does and knows what he’s capable of. He can look at a guy and instantly work out how he can improve and what he needs to do,” continued McGuigan.

“He’s got the strength and conditioning side of things and his nutritional knowledge is fantastic too. Most of all, the boxing and tactical approach to fights and how you beat opposing styles is what he’s very good at,” added the former world champion.

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