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Frampton vs Cazares: Carl Frampton aiming for knockout statement

Carl Frampton has a big opportunity today to secure a shot at WBC super bantamweight champ Leo Santa Cruz.

Scott Heavey

Carl Frampton is looking to make a statement this afternoon against Hugo Cazares, as he faces the former two-division titleholder in a WBC super bantamweight eliminator from the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.

"I think I can stop Cazares and I genuinely believe I'm the hardest punching super bantamweight in the world. I think I can stop any of these guys if I hit them on the chin. And, actually, walking through the divisions, I think I could stop anyone from up to featherweight or super featherweight," said Frampton.

"Without blowing my own trumpet, I've got very, very heavy hands and it's just about landing the shots and landing the clean shots. Sometimes, when I fight I like to fight at a relaxed pace when I could've got rid of opponents a few rounds sooner. But that's something as well that we've been working on, trying to fight at a higher pace.

"And we think the pace is probably one of the things that's going to get this guy and it's all coming together. I think, get the win - that's the most important thing, but I would be hoping to stop him as well."

Frampton (17-0, 12 KO) is looking to secure a fight with Leo Santa Cruz for later this year, likely to happen in September if all goes as Frampton plans. His manager, Hall of Fame fighter Barry McGuigan, believes Frampton is destined for stardom.

"I absolutely believe that [we're on the cusp of seeing a new sports star] and I believe he can be a crossover star. What's more, I don't just mean to the general public, I mean across the Atlantic. I think he can be a big star in America too. And having an Irish background as well is going to help him enormously," said McGuigan.

There has already been talk of a potential Santa Cruz-Frampton fight coming to Belfast, with Santa Cruz saying he's open to that possibility, as he doesn't care where he fights.

"There's no guarantee that we'd be able to get it in Belfast," said McGuigan. "But either way, we feel Carl has a great chance against Santa Cruz and we are very comfortable about that fight. We're happy to travel but we'd much prefer to be at home. The problem is getting an arena big enough, because Carl sold the place out in 10 days. I reckon we could have sold 15,000 for this one and we could certainly sell 20,000 for Santa Cruz."

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