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Wednesday 7 December 2016

The jackal to conquer usA

Belfast's IBF champ primed for his debut shot at big time

Carl Frampton arrived in El Paso on Wednesday ahead of an American debut that's likely to be a blistering affair.

Next Saturday, the unbeaten Belfast fighter's second IBF super bantamweight title defence will be staged in the border town against Mexico's Alejandro Gonzalez Jr (25-1-2, 15 KOs).

The 22-year old Gonzalez is coming to win. He's been knocking out fellow Mexicans and as Jamie Conlan discovered after his thrilling win last week: "If you've been stiffing Mexicans, you have to have a powerful punch."

But Frampton has been operating at a higher level than Gonzalez. Raul Hirales, Steve Molitor, Kiko Martinez, Jeremy Parodi, Hugo Fidel Cazares and Chris Avalos all came with big reputations but wilted under the pressure applied by 'The Jackal'.

Over two million viewers tuned in to ITV to watch Carl Frampton's battling title defence against Chris Avalos in February.

Next week ITV are again on board to televise American debut. The bout will also be screened live free-to-air in the States on CBS, a move designed to introduced the unbeaten Belfast boxer to the widest possible American audience.

Meanwhile, a slightly miffed Scott Quigg, who'd been hoping for a big money fight with Frampton, will be fighting Kiko Martinez.

If Frampton delivers in El Paso, his star will be rising in the States, where the really lucrative action is.

He's also got boxing powerhouse powerbroker Al Haymon in his camp so McGuigan has everything in place for a major career lift-off.

"I want to become a star in the US," says Frampton. "This is the first step on that journey."

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