Carl Frampton and Horacio Garcia have weighed in ahead of their headline clash at the SSE Odyssey Arena on Saturday night, while Jamie Conlan and Jerwin Ancajas are all set for their IBF world super-flyweight title showdown.
All four fighters took to the scales at Belfast’s Clayton Hotel on Friday afternoon ahead of the weekend’s massive ‘Frampton Reborn’ fight card, which will be screened live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
Frampton tipped the scales at 127lbs – the same as Mexican Garcia – with both fighters benefiting from a previously-agreed two-pound excess weight allowance ahead of the 10-round non-title featherweight bout.
‘The Jackal’ came in one pound over the 126lb featherweight limit for his ill-fated clash against Andres Gutierrez last July, which was later cancelled after the Mexican suffered a pre-fight accident.
But former WBA champion Frampton is confident that a win on Saturday night will tee up another world-title shot at 126lbs next year.
“It’s just been stress-free in the build-up,” said ‘The Jackal’. “I’ve been taking it easy in training and I felt comfortable throughout the week. I could’ve easily made the championship weight, but with it being a non-title fight, both camps were happy to allow the extra couple of pounds if needed.
“I know from my training and working with Jamie [Moore, trainer] that I can easily make featherweight and I just need to get the win now before I get a title shot against one of the big names in 2018.
“People are noticing that I’m in a good mood – lads are saying they’ve never seen me like this the week before a fight and I feel full of life, so all’s good.”
Garcia has never been stopped in his 37-fight career, but trainer Jamie Moore insists that Frampton will be the first to halt the Mexican as he expects ‘The Jackal’ to be back to his best on his ring return.
“He’s in great shape, great form. He’s done everything he needs to do… he’s on the home straight and ready to put in a good shift,” said Moore. “If Carl puts that shift in, I think he will stop Garcia. I know Garcia has never been stopped before – he’s a tough nut to crack, but with the form Carl’s in and the level of fighter he is, on his best night he’s a couple of levels above Garcia.
“He has a point to prove and he wants to finish 2018 on a high. I think Carl will take Garcia into the deep waters and drown him.”
Meanwhile, Conlan weighed in at 115lbs for his first world-title challenge against Filipino champion Ancajas, who came in at the same weight.
The 19-0 undefeated Belfast native has been cool, calm and collected throughout fight week and Conlan insists he will maintain the same approach heading into a potentially career-defining bout.
“I’ve really enjoyed this week and the support today was great,” said Conlan. “Everything in my camp has went perfectly. Fighters say that a lot, but I’ve no excuses – I couldn’t be better prepared and my dream will come true tomorrow night. On Sunday morning, I believe I’ll wake up as a world champion.”
Conlan’s trainer Danny Vaughan echoed those sentiments as he takes confidence from his fighter’s relaxed demeanour.
“He’s very relaxed and he’s more than ready for it,” said Vaughan. “Out of all the world champions at super-flyweight, Jerwin is one of the best – probably in the top two. We know what we’re up against, but we’ve had a fantastic camp. Jamie is in fantastic shape, both physically and mentally.”
Three-time Olympian Paddy Barnes also successfully weighed in for his vacant WBO intercontinental flyweight title fight – but only after stripping off on the scales!
Barnes’ opponent, Nicaraguan Eliecer Quezada, failed to make 112lb weight limit after two attempts, however, meaning the stepping-stone WBO belt will only be on the line for the home fighter when the pair clash on Saturday night.
A total of 11 MTK Global-managed fighters feature on the ‘Frampton Reborn’ fight card in Belfast, which marks Frampton’s first hometown bout in two-and-half years.
Header photo by TheFightIrish.ie