Carl Frampton on Kiko Martínez world title fight: ‘This is going to be special’

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This is my first ever world title fight so I’m putting in overtime. We’re doing a 14-week camp rather than 12 weeks. I train twice a day Monday to Friday, do a strongman circuit on Saturday and then rest on Sunday. My first session of the day is around 11am and we focus on punching – bags, pads or sparring. The second session is around 6pm and will be sprints or weights.

My body fat will be as low as 3% when I weigh in. Diet is crucial. The super-bantamweight limit is 122lb [55.25kg] and I’m pretty big at the weight but I bring it down gradually over the camp on a strict diet. There’s no boiling down.

I’ve started eating a lot more carbs. My diet is loosely based on Paleo with good-quality meat and veg and no wheat or dairy. But this time around I’ve been introducing a lot of carbs and the weight is still coming off. Make no mistake, my trainer Shane McGuigan has me eating plenty.

I’m getting stronger with every camp. I’m always breaking PBs in the gym and on the track. I can do 6x6 squats, ass to grass, at 95kg. I’m 27 so I’m in my prime and the next four years will hopefully be my best. I live a good, clean life, even out of camp, but I might relax a bit for the week after the fight. Everyone needs a blow-out and I love a pavlova.

There are still a lot of dinosaurs in boxing. People get a lot of things wrong with training. Boxers are still up at 5am after a poor night’s sleep running for miles and miles. But a few are starting to click with what actually works. In Shane I’ve got a very scientific coach who knows what he’s doing. I’ve got a lot of trust in him – and I do what I’m told!


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Boxing is an explosive, not endurance sport. The biggest waste of time in boxing is running half marathons at a slow pace. So many people still do that but it’s so old-school. Boxing is explosive and you need to be going at it for three minutes, then resting for one. All that slow, steady running just trains you to be slow and steady. You never go at one pace when you’re fighting – the tempo changes and that’s why we sprint on the track.

I dread using the Woodway Curve. That’s basically a treadmill without a motor so however fast you run, that’s how fast it goes. We’ll do sprint intervals on it, which are just torture. It’s balls-to-the-wall stuff and it feels like my lungs will pop out of my chest. By the middle of the session I’m always thinking, ‘Why the fuck did I sign up for this?’

I’m punching harder now than ever before. Punch power is a lot about what you’re born with but you can become a harder puncher in the gym. I have always had power, but Shane reckons I’m punching harder now because of how I’ve been training and honing my technique.

Strength comes first. Punch power is a combination of good technique and building a power-to-weight ratio. So your best bet is to improve your overall strength before perfecting your punch technique on the pads, bags and in sparring.

I build my foundations with compound lifts. All the force in the punch is built in the legs and hips, so doing back squats is a must when it comes to building power in your fists. There are no better exercises for building overall upper body strength than pull-ups and chin-ups so make sure you get these in. And doing incline bench presses means you hit your shoulders and your chest at one which will benefit you once you're in the ring.

I’m constantly carrying niggling injuries. Most boxers are at my level. I sit on my arse and rest as much a possible between sessions. In other sports you can afford to take time off but in a weight-making sport like boxing you can’t, so you just carry your injuries around. Boxers just have to get on with it so any rest is vital.


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This fight will be extra special. I’ve already knocked Kiko Martínez out in Belfast, when we fought in February 2013, but this time the world title is on the line. We’re getting it on at the Titanic Quarter in front of 16,000 crazy fans, a stone’s throw from my house. When you think of the Titanic you think of Belfast. It’s so important to have this fight there.

Money talks. We made a big financial offer to bring him to Belfast as champion and he’s cashing in. He got beat up last time and he’s never been hit like that in his life. This will be the same result as last time and then I can move on to bigger and better things when I’m the IBF world champion.

I can already see myself holding the belt. It will be the first time ever my three-year-old daughter Carla will be at one of my fights, and I’ve already imagined pictures of us in the ring afterwards with that belt. It’s going to be great. The babysitter who usually minds her wants to come to the fight so we've got nobody to watch her. She knows all about Martínez, she calls him ‘bald boy’ There's no way I'll be humiliated in front of my daughter.

Carl Frampton’s IBF super bantamweight world title fight against Kiko Martínez on 6th September is live on BoxNation. For tickets visit Ticketmaster or call 0844 277 4455