Frampton v Donaire Betting: Carl can get a Pep from his City influences

Carl Frampton
Carl Frampton says he has never trained as hard or as well
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Carl Frampton faces a defining fight in Belfast on Saturday night. Ralph Ellis has been learning the secrets of the 31-year-old's detailed preparation.

"Frampton by a Decision at [1.6] is considered the most likely outcome in the method of victory market, but I reckon the Northern Irishman winning inside the distance at [4.2] could be a lot of value for a man who has never prepared so well."

If there's one phrase I've read, over and over again this week, when describing Pep Guardiola's management style it has been "attention to detail".

Whether it's the circular dressing room, switching off the WiFi so players have to get off social media, ensuring no blade of grass on either The Etihad pitch or the training ground is longer than 23 millimetres, or even reorganising a pile of Dictaphones at a press conference so they were all straight and in line, the man is obsessive.

So if Carl Frampton has come into contact with some of those standards, it can only be a good thing as the Belfast fighter tries to blow life back into his career.

Frampton meets Filipino veteran Nonito Donaire in Belfast on Saturday night in what even he admits is a make or break fight. They are supposedly fighting for the Interim WBO World Featherweight title but there is so much more at stake.

Win on Saturday and he becomes the mandatory contender for the WBO title held by Oscar Valdez with the chance of a stadium fight and another major payday. Lose and it might be time to call it a day.

It is 15 months since Frampton, now aged 31, put his WBA featherweight title on the line in a Las Vegas rematch with Leo Santa Cruz and came out the loser.

Split with McGuigan

I remember at the time writing about the scale of the risk he was taking in that fight and took little pleasure from being proved right. It remains the only blot on his 25-fight record, but in the world of boxing once you lose a world title it can be a long way back.

As if the complications of plotting a return weren't hard enough, he also split with manager Barry McGuigan and his trainer son Shane following an acrimonious row which is heading for the courts.

Against that background Frampton has fallen under the spell of his new trainer former European light middleweight champion Jamie Moore and that's where the Manchester City influence comes from.

The 39-year-old, born in Walkden Greater Manchester, has access to the sports science department at The Etihad and has been tapping into their expertise as he rebuilds Frampton's confidence.

He's taken him for altitude training in Tenerife, has worked with nutritionists and conditioning coaches, and has also employed sports psychologist Dr Mark Elliott to address the negatives left behind by the Santa Cruz defeat.

Still a world class fighter

Frampton admits his confidence was scarred not only by that loss, but by the criticism he got following a stuttering performance when he beat Horacio Garcia on points in November in his comeback fight.

He was knocked down - although in truth it was more of a slip - in the seventh and was hanging on a bit as Garcia set the pace in the final rounds.

"All of a sudden everything on social media said I was over the hill," said Frampton. "Working with Mark is reassuring me that I am still a world class fighter."

He should prove that on Saturday night, even if 35-year-old Donaire, a former four-weight world champion who was once billed as the next Manny Pacquiao, won't be an easy fight.

Frampton by a Decision at [1.6] is considered the most likely outcome in the method of victory market, but I reckon the Northern Irishman winning inside the distance at [4.2] could be a lot of value for a man who has never prepared so well. You sense that Pep would approve.

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