Belfast native Frampton defends his IBF crown in a world super-bantamweight (122lbs) unification fight against Bury’s WBA belt holder Quigg this weekend at the Manchester Arena.
Although 27-year-old Quigg is the ‘home’ fighter, 29-year-old Frampton is widely expected to have the bulk of the support at the 20,000-capacity venue as a large number of Irish fans are set to travel to Manchester.
Today’s press conference is closed to the public in what some see as a sign that Quigg’s handlers are keen to shield him from Frampton’s vocal support, although tomorrow’s weigh-in will be a ticketed affair open to fans.
With both fighters putting their undefeated records on the line as well as their titles, the bout has received the full Sky hype treatment afforded to pay-per-view bouts, and Frampton expects Saturday’s atmosphere to match the occasion.
“Travelling fans always make a bit more noise so I think the atmosphere is going to be incredible,” said Frampton. “I’m looking forward to it, I can’t wait to get out there and stand on the [entrance] ramp and listen to that.
“I’m looking forward to it. I never thought it would get this big, I never thought I’d have the fanbase that would be involved in fights of this size when I just turned pro or when I had fights as an amateur, I never thought it would get the way it is. I’m very lucky,” added the Barry McGuigan-managed fighter.
The Belfast man is the bookies favourite for the fight, but many pundits are split on calling the outcome, with Quigg’s impressive second-round knockout of former Frampton foe Kiko Martinez last July swaying many predictions.
Frampton, however, insists that he has tailored his preparations to make light work of Quigg, with the Irishman having finished up his sparring in London last week ahead of travelling to Manchester on Tuesday.
“If I can keep doing what I’ve been doing in sparring for the last five or six weeks, then this fight is going to be a lot easier than people expect,” said Frampton.
“Sometimes you can be stupid in sparring… like when I’m sparring welterweights and light-welterweights, you want to be macho — thinking ‘I’m only a wee man but I can push you around and show off a bit’ — but this time everything has been calculated and I’ve been sparring how I think the fight is going to go and what I think is going to work best.”
A fight between the rivals has been hyped for some five-and-a-half years, with promotional issues delaying a match-up until negotiations last year finally booked this weekend’s clash.
Frampton maintained that he will not he will not let the occasion affect his performance.
“I’ve got the punching power to take him out. I could hit him clean in the first round and knock him out, but I carry my power the whole way through the fight.
“It’s about boxing brain, again, I can completely outbox him for 12 rounds. I’m not going to get carried away and let emotions take over because it’s such a big fight,” said Frampton.
“It’s going to be a very calculated performance and, again, I think it’s going to be one-sided,” added the IBF champion, who boasts a 21-0 record against Quigg’s 31-2-0 (two draws) unbeaten run.