JAMIE Conlan and IBF super-flyweight champion, Jerwin Ancajas weighed-in at the 115lb limit ahead of tomorrow’s SSE showdown for the Filipino’s world title.
Conlan goes into the bout as a heavy underdog according to the bookmakers, but that means nothing to ‘The Mexican’ who believes he is ready to deliver a career-best performance against the champion.
There has been a hunch that Conlan’s heart-in-your-mouth wars in recent years have been more to do with him being brought down to his opponent's level, but this time he knows he needs to raise his game and produce the type of performance he feels he has yet to unleash.
“Not one bit of nerves, it’s all excitement,” said the West Belfast man.
“I’m excited. I’m like a fan on the outside because I want to see what I’m going to do in there.
“I know what we’ve done in camp, know what we’ve done at the highest level in camp. We’ve brought in world champions and I’ve been putting them down in sparring. I’ve looked like a million dollars, it’s just about transferring it into the fight.
“This is the first time in my whole life I’ve come ito a fight with this kind of mindset.
It’s finally sunk in at hopefully the perfect time.
“I know the enormity of the task at hand. I know I’m 9/2 in the bookies. I don’t think Carl (Frampton) or (Ryan) Burnett have have been this odds against, so I know I need to be the best I can be to become champion, but I wholeheartedly believe I will be.”
It has all been very respectful between champion and challenger with the staredowns preceded and followed by a handshake and respectful nod at today's Clayton Hotel weigh-in.
Conlan has never been one for antics at a weigh-in and he says he wasn’t about to start now.
“We’re going to fight no matter what, whether we start shouting at each other or not,” he responded.
“There is no point in slabbering or getting in each other’s face. I’m going to try and take his head off, he’s going to try and take my head off, that’s just how it is.”
There has also not been any brash statements from the champion with Ancajas complimentary to his challenger and the city.
The SSE Arena will be hostile territory for the 25 year-old, but he is unconcerned with the jeers he will likely receive on the night.
“I am excited to fight in Belfast because I know that my opponnet is good,” said ‘Pretty Boy’.
“We are ready and have seen some fights of Jamie’s. He’s a brawler, but whatever he has to bring to the table, we’ll be ready.
“We’re not worried that the crowd will be supporting Jamie because so far they have been really nice and provided the hospitality we expected them to.”
Conlan’s title challenge will be the second last fight of the night, just like when he made his debut against Anwar Alfadli just over eight years ago at the same arena.
Finishing what he started in the same ring would be a fitting way to win a world title and he says he is fully prepared to do just that.
“It’s come full circle,” he agreed.
"I fought a tricky southpaw that night as well. The way it’s gone makes this the perfect night.”
CARL Frampton has described himself as the ‘Mexican slayer’ and intends to overcome the challenge of yet another Aztec warrior at the SSE Arena tomorrow night when he takes on Horacio Garcia in his first fight since the defeat to Leo Santa Cruz back in January.
Frampton has faced five previous Mexican opponents, defeating them all, although there was the rematch defeat to Santa Cruz in Las Vegas this year, but he intends to get back to winning ways tomorrow and predicts a career-best display.
Both men weighed-in at 127lbs at the Clayton Hotel this afternoon, one pound over the featherweight limit, but given this is a non-title bout, the limit is of little consequence and it was agreed both could come in slightly over.
A big crowd packed into the Ormeau Avenue venue to catch a glimpse of both men on the scales and Frampton, looking relaxed and confident, is expecting to deliver on a huge night for local boxing.
“The only Mexican who has beaten me is Leo Santa Cruz and I beat him too, so I’m the Mexican slayer,” he said.
“I’ve beaten five or six of them and he is going to be another one.
“The way things have been going in camp, I think this will be the performance of my career. I’m going to be sharp, going to be accurate and I am going to do the job in style.”
The SSE Arena will welcome one of boxing’s superstars as Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will be ringside to cheer on his stablemate and friend, Garcia.
That suggests the visitor is not merely coming to Belfast to make up the numbers and is confident of victory.
“He’s here to win,” stressed ‘The Jackal’.
“It’s going to be a good night. To have a superstar of world boxing.... Right now, ‘AJ’ (Anthony Joshua) and ‘Canelo’ are the top two superstars of world boxing and to have one sitting at ringside is a big deal.”
Frampton and Garcia have sparred in the past and the 27 year-old from Guadalajara believes those past rounds in the gym have shown him the route to victory over the Belfast favourite.
“I remember everything and remember all of his weak spots,” said Garcia who said the presence of Canelo will give him "extra motivation.”
“I know where I’m going to start off so I’m ready for this.
“I have always been prepared for this type of fight, especially this type of event. It’s what I have always been looking for.
“I am very well prepared and will leave everything in the ring.”
Frampton is also well prepared with Jamie Moore now the man in his corner and he is looking forward to getting back into the ring at the SSE Arena, the venue he scored his last stoppage back in February 2015.
He hopes he can repeat that result against Garcia and feels his performances in the gym can translate into an explosive display tomorrow.
“I have a 100 per cent knockout ratio in the Odyssey and I’m looking to continue that,” he confirmed.
“Obviously I’m looking to win first and foremost, but the way things are going, I think I can get rid of this guy.”
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