June 18, 2018
June 18, 2018
Carl Frampton

Action Images/REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

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CARL FRAMPTON believes he is better than ever while Luke Jackson takes inspiration from countryman, and Olympic team-mate, Jeff Horn dethroning Manny Pacquiao last year.

This was all revealed at a BT press conference today as it was confirmed that Australian Luke Jackson, 16-0 (7), will meet Carl Frampton at Windsor Park on August 18, with Tyson Fury and Paddy Barnes both competing on the undercard (in separate contests).

Jackson turned professional in 2013 having enjoyed a successful amateur career that saw the Tasmanian captain his nation at the 2012 London Olympics, something the 32 year-old believes prepares him well to deal with the challenge come August 18.

“I got here through hard work and dedication and believing in myself and that’s why I’m here. I’m not fazed by any of this, I fought around the world as an amateur at the highest level,” Jackson said.

“It’s all experience and it’s something you can’t buy.”

Along with taking confidence from his extensive amateur background, Jackson revealed he takes inspiration from London 2012 roommate Jeff Horn, who dethroned Manny Pacquiao in July 2017, in one of the biggest upsets of the year.

Jackson said, “I roomed with Jeff at the London Olympic Games and to see him go and beat Manny Pacquiao that just gives me and all other Australian boxers hope that we can follow in his footsteps and I have my opportunity here.

“It’s a massive opportunity and not sure many guys would want to come and fight Carl Frampton in his backyard but I am willing and able to so.

“My life would change over night without a doubt but I have been proving people wrong a long time and I am looking to do the same again.”

Carl Frampton

Despite Frampton entering the fight a handy favourite, it was the Irishman’s turn to reminisce on a past experience, as the 31 year-old remembered the last time he took a fighter lightly, Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez Jr in July 2015.

Frampton overcame Gonzalez Jr that night with a unanimous decision to retain his IBF super-bantamweight world title, but only after the Irishman had picked himself up from the canvas following two first round knockdowns.

“It’s probably something I’ve learned before in my career,” Frampton said when discussing the importance of not overlooking an opponent.

“I’ll take you back to my fight with Alejandro Gonzalez in Texas, first fight as a professional in America, meant to blow this guy away and I probably took my eye off the ball if I’m honest.

“I saw the kid walking around the hotel, didn’t look up to much, tall, skinny kid, I had it in my head I was going to to blow him away.

“After being on your back side twice in the first round that soon disappeared. So I never, ever take an opponent for granted again I’m certainly not going to do that with Luke Jackson.

“The bookies and everyone else will write him off but I’m not paying attention to that, if he can win this fight he can become a big name in world boxing and that’s what he can see and it’s up to me not to allow that to happen.”

This marks Frampton’s third fight with new trainer Jamie Moore, with the pair already claiming victories over Horacio Garcia and Nonito Donaire leaving the Belfast native to insist he is in the form of his career.

“I think I am as good if not better than I was three years ago, if you look at my last performance against Donaire it was my most disciplined performance of my career,” Frampton said.

“I could have pushed him around and bullied him and used my strength but I had a game plan set out by my team and I listened to everything.

“I think I’m more disciplined now I’m more switched on and I think if you want to compare all my performances over my whole career as a professional the Donaire one was probably second after Santa Cruz one.

“I genuinely think I’m better because I’m enjoying myself, I enjoy boxing again I have the bug back. I don’t think big Fury would beat me out there in Windsor park.

“I think it’s going to be hard for anyone in and around the featherweight division to beat me at Windsor Park.”

As it seems clear Frampton respects his underdog opponent, Jackson himself claimed he holds advantages over ‘The Jackal’.

Jackson said, “As a fighter I wouldn’t say he does anything great but he does everything very, very well and he’s fundamentally sound.

“I think he’s a very good fighter, but boxing IQ I think I can match it with anyone in the word. He might be faster, punch harder, but IQ I think I’m going to try and outsmart the guy.”

Frampton has long been campaigning for a fight to be staged at national football ground of Northern Ireland, and the two-weight world champion said the fans deserve a top quality performance.

“I think Windsor Park deserve me to put on a top quality performance, I think that’s what this stadium deserves and it’s going to be quality night,” he said.