Carl Frampton faces Chris Avalos on Saturday in Belfast, and the two fighters and their teams traded some barbs on Thursday.
Carl Frampton and Chris Avalos got a little testy at Thursday’s final press conference for Saturday night’s IBF super bantamweight title bout in Belfast, with Frampton questioning Avalos’ conditioning, Avalos questioning Frampton’s roots, and trash talk centering around purse wagers.
Things started off pretty calm, with Avalos (25-2, 19 KO) thanking promoter Barry McGuigan for bringing him over for the fight, which will be his first world title opportunity. “I’m ready to fight, and it’s going to be a good fight, and that’s pretty much all I can say,” Avalos remarked. He then paused, and continued. “For his formation, I’m going to win. I didn’t come all the way out here to lose. It’s pretty stupid to come here to lose. Makes no sense.”
Frampton (19-0, 13 KO) poked at Avalos right away. “He usually talks a little bit more than that. He hasn’t said much there,” he said, to which Avalos replied, “I do my talking in the ring, boy!”
Frampton added, “He’s obviously a little bit tight on the weight. He’s in a bad mood and stuff. But I’m expecting a tough fight. I’ve prepared hard for it, but this guy knows what’s going to happen. He’s lost twice before to guys who don’t compare to me, so you know what’s going to happen here on Saturday night. It’s going to be another loss. He’s used to it already.”
While Avalos stewed a bit in his seat but stayed quiet, his manager Mike Criscio chimed in. “I hate to tell you, Carl, but you’re going to lose your title. It’s going to be a short stay for you, and at the end we’ll see who is the new champion.”
Frampton was quick on the reply. “I don’t really believe you when you say that. It looks like you’re very nervous when you say that. Like you don’t believe it yourself.”
Criscio then upped the ante. “Would you like to bet some of your purse at the 5-to-1 odds? Because I’d love to take your money, brother.” When Avalos pressed Frampton on the idea, the Irishman went with humor, saying, “I wouldn’t like to take your money off you. You’ve had the same tracksuit top on for about four days. Every time I’ve seen you, you’ve been wearing that coat, so I wouldn’t like to take your money off you.”
With the crowd cheering Frampton’s cheekiness, Criscio said that the fighter was making excuses, and Avalos seemed to take offense, saying that Frampton was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. “I’m from the ghetto, mate,” Frampton replied. “I’m from T-Bay! That’s the ghetto!”
“Fuck you and wherever you stay, motherfucker,” Avalos replied. “I’m still gonna whoop your ass, anyway.”
With Frampton making the first defense of the title he won from Kiko Martinez in September of last year, Belfast is expected to be rocking for the hometown favorite, who has proven his manager’s bold predictions for greatness right thus far in his career, ascending to the top of the super bantamweight division.
“Bottom line is, the reason we’re here, this kid draws people in,” McGuigan said. “Look at the room. He draws people in, he’s exciting, he’s above you in all of the rankings. He is the better fighter and on Saturday night, we’ll prove it.”
Criscio got in one final statement on behalf of their team, saying, “I’m not here to be friendly! I’m not here to be popular. I’m here to win a fight. This is a fight, it isn’t a popularity contest.”
Avalos has a lot to overcome on Saturday, but he’s not a walkover challenger, either. With six straight wins, the 25-year-old fighter has made some improvements since losses to Christopher Martin in 2010 and Jhonatan Romero in 2011, both split decision defeats. But the 28-year-old Frampton has also not been one to overlook any opponent thus far, taking care of business at each step of his development. Now as the favored world champion, he’ll have to prove that the fire and hunger remains.
Bad Left Hook will have live coverage for the fight on Saturday, which airs at 5:50 pm EST on ITV in the United Kingdom.