In the week of the 20th anniversary of Nigel Benn v Gerald McClellan, which was broadcast on ITV – British boxing returns to it’s “home channel”.
McGuigan who was part of the broadcast panel on that tragic night of 25th February 1995 – returns this time as manager and promoter of IBF Super-Bantamweight world champion Carl “The Jackal” Frampton.
The Clones Cyclone is no stranger to boxing on terrestrial TV – he won the WBA world featherweight title against Eusebio Pedroza back on 8th June 1985, that was viewed by 20 million people on BBC1.
Frampton (19-0: 13KO’s) – who turned 28 last Saturday – makes his first mandatory defence since snatching the title from Kiko Martinez in September last year.
The man in the opposite corner is American Chris “The Hitman” Avalos (25-2: 19KO’s) – trash-talker and a guy who has knocked out as many men as The Jackal has fought, Carl cannot afford to overlook him. Frampton however is confident that his style will make viewers watch in their droves and join his already swelling following.
Frampton told BBC Sport:
“If I turn up, I’ll win the fight, simple as that,” predicted Frampton, ahead of his first title defence.
“I want to keep on winning and look explosive in every single contest. He’s cocky but I’ll knock that out of him.”
“I had to take a bit of a break after injuring my hand in the Kiko fight and having to train over Christmas wasn’t nice,” said Frampton.
“I’d have preferred a complete rest but it’s one of those things that had to be done.
“I don’t know if Avalos is any better than Martinez but I’ll go in there expecting a tough fight. Kiko is a very good fighter and I dealt with him quite easily and Avalos is a good fighter as well.
“It’ll be an exciting fight while it lasts but I’m the biggest punching super-bantamweight in the world so it’s not rocket science what’s going to happen.
Stylistically I feel Avalos is tailor-made for Frampton – who will come forward swinging and allow The Jackal to box off the back-foot and catch him flush. It promises to be an explosive encounter from the first bell.
The Hitman, 25 yrs old has no qualms with fighting in Belfast in-front of a partisan crowd and doesn’t rate the champions power:
“The fans can expect a great fight. They will get a war if Frampton stands and fights and doesn’t run the way he likes to run,” Avalos said.
“Hopefully he will not stand off and run around like a little fairy. But we will have to wait and see.”
“I have fought stronger fighters than Frampton and I do not see anything special about him, nothing special,” he added.
“I have everything. I like my chin. I have been hit hard, but I have never been shook.
“I have never been dropped, and thank God for that.
“I have a strong chin and power, which is a lethal mix.”
I’m going for a Frampton 8th-9th round stoppage – but Avalos will bring it to him throughout.
Interestingly domestic rival and WBA regular champion Scott Quigg (30-0: 22KO’s) will be ringside to watch the fight on Saturday – that will no doubt fuel the flames of a blockbuster summer showdown.
On a packed under-card which will be shown on ITV4 from 7.30pm which contains exciting Heavyweight prospect Dillian Whyte; Middleweight prospect Conrad Cummings;Welterweights Denton Vassell and Paddy Gallagher; Super Featherweight Anthony Cacace and Featherweight Marco McCullough.
Attention then turns at 10.50pm to ITV for the main event – which won’t disappoint.