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Carl Frampton insists he's still the best despite worst year of his career

Carl Frampton still feels he is the world's best featherweight despite the worst year of his career and aims to deliver a performance to back up that claim Saturday.

Frampton (23-1, 14 KOs), 30, is looking to give his career a much needed boost against Horacio Garcia, who he faces in a 10-round non-title bout at the SSE Arena in Belfast, after losing the WBA world title to Leo Santa Cruz on points on Jan. 28.

Carl Frampton fights Horacio Garcia in Belfast on Nov. 18. Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images
A turbulent 2017 has also seen Frampton miss out on fighting at 24 hours' notice after Andres Gutierrez slipped in the shower on the eve of the July 29 WBC world title eliminator, which Frampton failed to make weight for.

Then came a split with promoter and trainer Barry and Shane McGuigan respectively but Frampton says he wants to end the year on a high by delivering an impressive performance against Garcia (33-3-1, 24 KOs).

The Northern Irishman says he cannot afford to lose concentration against Mexico's Garcia and feels refreshed after his first training camp with Jamie Moore.

"It's been the worst year of my career with what happened at the start and then in the middle," said Frampton.

"But linking up with [boxing management group] MTK Global, Jamie Moore, [promoter] Frank Warren and [U.K. broadcaster] BT Sport has given me a great platform and this part of my career could be the biggest part so far.

"I need to show the boys in the division that I mean business.

"I'm going to be sharper and more switched on in this fight. My body has felt like this in a number of years and it's probably added a couple of years to my shelf life.

"Garcia is a good fighter and he can punch hard. If you want to stereotype a Mexican fighter, then he has all the stereotypes. He comes forward, he punches long, he punches hard, he's brave, he's tough and can take a good shot so these things are all good about him.

"I need to be switched on from the start to finish. I believe that right now I'm the best featherweight in the world, I still believe that, and when I'm performing I can beat everyone, so I should be beating guys like Horacio Garcia.

"I need to be focused throughout because when you are in with punchers they are always dangerous."

Frampton, a world champion in two weight classes, is expected to get the win he needs to set up a shot at one of the world titleholders, whether it be Mexico's Santa Cruz (WBA) or more likely Wales' Lee Selby (IBF), in 2018.

Author: Nick Parkinson, ESPN
Source: http://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/21445572/carl-frampton-insists-best-worst-year-career

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