Carl Frampton claimed he was better than Josh Warrington “in every single department” and warned that he had the power to inflict the first stoppage of the Leeds fighter’s career ahead of their IBF showdown in Manchester.
Frampton said he was preparing to go 12 rounds against Warrington, who has never been knocked down in 27 professional bouts, but insisted he was good enough to “take him out” when the featherweights clash a week on Saturday.
Warrington’s first defence of the IBF belt he won from Lee Selby in May will take place against a former two-weight world champion who is rated by the British Board of Control as the UK’s number one nine-stone boxer.
In an interview with the YEP last week, an unbeaten Warrington questioned Frampton’s motivation and said the Belfast puncher was no more talented than Selby, who Warrington out-pointed in dramatic fashion seven months ago.
But speaking with 10 days to go, Frampton said: “I’ve got enough power to hurt him. I do believe in every single department that I’m better than him and that’s going to be the real difference.
“Potentially I could (knock Warrington out) but I’m not going to go looking for that. I’m preparing for 12 gruelling rounds. But I do have the power to take him out. I’ve got the power to take any featherweight out in the world if I hit them clean and Josh Warrington’s a featherweight.”
Frampton and Warrington will meet at Manchester Arena, the venue where Frampton became a double super-bantamweight title holder by beating Scott Quigg in drab and unspectacular bout in 2016.
“It’s a similar fight and it’s a big fight,” Frampton said. “There’s not the animosity that me and Quigg had but I think it’s going to be a better fight.
“When I look back on the Quigg fight I’m disappointed with it. I won the fight and pretty comfortably but it was a boring fight and we got a bit of stick about it.
“I did what I had to do to win but looking back I wish it had been a bit more exciting. I think the Warrington fight will be the fight the Scott Quigg fight wasn’t.”
Warrington, who was supported by a crowd of close to 20,000 when he defeated Selby at Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium, is expected to take a large contingent to Manchester. Frampton has also generated a big following during his career and the 31-year-old claimed that most spectators outside of Leeds would be backing him.
“The thing is with Leeds in particular is that if you’re not from Leeds you won’t support a Leeds man,” Frampton said. “His main support will be from Leeds but I can pick up support from back home and around Manchester and other parts of the UK. I think it’ll be a pretty split crowd.”
Frampton has been based in Manchester under trainer and former European light-middleweight champion Jamie Moore since a fractious parting of ways with the McGuigans last year.
“I’ve beaten big names, I’ve beaten all sorts of different styles,” he said. “Josh Warrington doesn’t have anything that I’ve never seen before. I’m in a better place mentally with the new team I’m with. Experience will count for a lot in this fight.”
Frampton, though, admitted Selby’s loss to Warrington had taken him by surprise on a night when Warrington was making his first bid for a world belt and Welshman Selby was defending the IBF title for the fifth time.
“I knew Selby was struggling with weight issues and that one day it would catch up with him but I still tipped him to beat Warrington,” Frampton said.
“How little Selby had to offer that night surprised me more than what Warrington had to give. A fighter with a world title may have more confidence but I believe I’m better than him and anyone who’s ever fought him, including Lee Selby.”
Josh Warrington defends his IBF World Featherweight title against Carl Frampton exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office, Saturday 22 December. Watch for just £19.95, for more info visit www.bt.com/sportboxoffice
*Read Phil Hay's big fight interview with Josh Warrington and trainer Sean O'Hagan here.