CARL FRAMPTON is back this weekend after making sweeping changes to his team and is out to prove he can regain his status as the world’s top featherweight.
There is nothing Frampton won’t do for people. He goes beyond the realms of what anyone can expect to be fan friendly, but he isn’t scared of putting his neck on the line and make big decisions.
The Belfast boy made the biggest decision of his 30 years in August by leaving the McGuigan family’s Cyclone Promotions who had handled his professional career since day dot.
Barry McGuigan managed him. Barry’s son Shane trained Frampton and other members of McGuigan’s family had roles.
Very few know the reasons behind the divorce, but many will guess Christmas cards are unlikely to be exchanged although Frampton is grateful for the work they did.
With his previous team brushed away, Frank Warren is his new promoter, BT and BoxNation on board as Frampton’s TV partner and most surprisingly Jamie Moore was appointed new trainer.
The Moore switch was the one that shocked the most. The former British and European super-welterweight champion is one of the best British boxers never to win a world title.
As a trainer though, he is still making his way and if some believe leaving McGuigan was a risk, teaming up with Mooresy is arguably a bigger gamble.
Will it work? BT Sport and BoxNation viewers will find out on Saturday when the former two-weight world champion returns in front of a raucous sell-out crowd in his home city against Horacio Garcia.
Frampton moved his training base to a Salford gym owned by Moore’s closest friend in boxing Steve Wood, who ironically manages possible 2018 rival, Josh Warrington.
It’s Frampton’s first fight since losing his rematch and WBA featherweight title to Leo Santa Cruz in January - the man he famously beat six months earlier.
Carl claims he was thinking about retirement until teaming up with Moore, but now reckons he can box for another five years, although his missus will kibosh that!
Frampton has become a popular figure quickly on the Manchester fight scene, spending time at amateur clubs privately and spoken highly of by staff at the hotel where he stayed.
Now it’s time to show his nasty side. The pressure is on him and Moore in Belfast to show the best is yet to come even if Frampton is on the home stretch.
‘The Jackal’ should take Garcia into an ocean that is far too deep, and give his country a boost after their controversial World Cup exit against Switzerland.
Then it’ll be time to swim with the sharks in 2018. A dream fight at Windsor Park is likely possibly against the winner of Lee Selby’s IBF featherweight title defence against Warrington.
He leaves Team McGuigan with a wealth of experience inside and outside the ring. He is intelligent, an elite fighter and has shown he can think for himself.
My money is on him recapturing the form that saw him beat Santa Cruz, Scott Quigg, the late Alejandro Gonzalez and Kiko Martinez and becoming a world champion once more.
Frampton has remained silent on his version of events behind the split with the McGuigans but he is currently working on his autobiography with a ghost writer.
That promises to be as compulsive as the home stretch of his career with a new team pushing him towards another world title.
ALTHOUGH I never watched the Liam Smith v Liam Williams rematch live, I did see the absorbing 12-rounder on Sunday when I knew the result.
It might not have matched the intensity of their first meeting, but again it was one you dare not take your eyes off.
Smith was rightly the winner and trainer Joe Gallagher deserve credit for coming up with a game plan that surprised plenty, but ultimately earned his man a chance at becoming a two-time world champion.
Williams can come again for sure, is still British champion and promoter Frank Warren will not allow him to fall from the world title picture.
I noticed even before my delayed watching that BT Sport and BoxNation commentators John Rawling and Barry Jones copped flak from a section of fans.
They are big boys and don’t need me to defend them, but they will relay what they are saying and it’s ridiculous for to claim they had an agenda against Williams.