CARL FRAMPTON has vowed to take on Abner Mares next if he beats Horacio Garcia in November.
The 30-year-old hasn’t fought since he lost his WBA featherweight title against Leo Santa Cruz in January, and fans have bemoaned ‘The Jackal’s’ next choice of opponent.
Frampton and Garcia will meet each other in the centre of the ring on November 18 at the SSE Arena in Belfast, with no titles on the line.
The Northern Irishman is looking to bounce back to winning ways after suffering the first loss of his career against the 29-year-old Mexican.
While he also needs to shake off ring rust, Frampton will also have a new trainer in his corner, after bringing in Jamie Moore to replace Shane McGuigan and a new promoter in Frank Warren.
And he has insisted he needs a warm-up fights as he gets used to his new team, he said: “Some have criticised the choice of Garcia as my next opponent but people have to understand that by the time the fight happens I will have been out of the ring for ten months and on top of that there has been a lot of things going on in the background.
“I’m with a new coach and a new team, this all takes time to bed in. It’s certainly not going to be a one-round demolition job, the guy is tough and for him it’s the chance of a lifetime to make a big breakthrough.
“For me it’s about getting back to winning ways and making a statement that I’m ready to look ahead to 2018 for some big fights and for my promoter Frank Warren to see that I am ready to go for a world title shot.
“I know some may think there will be ring rust but I haven’t been aware of any in the gym.
“If I do become the first guy to stop Garcia then that would be a big bonus and send a message to the rest of the featherweights that I’m really back and gunning for the top men.”
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And if he gets past the Mexican who boasts a 33-3 record, he will target a match-up with WBA ‘regular’ featherweight champ Mares.
He is in line to defend his title against Andres Gutierrez this weekend, and would welcome a clash with Frampton in the near future.
The two-weight world champion added: “A fight between myself and Mares would be very exciting for the fans next year.
“It’s one of those clashes that doesn’t need a belt, the fight sells itself so that could be a possibility for me, but there are plenty of options as long as I come through on November 18.”
Earlier on Monday, Frampton appeared to take a sly dig at McGuigan when he wrote on Twitter: “8 years as a pro and that’s the best hand wrap I’ve ever had on. Thank you @cutmansheldon.”
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