Carl Frampton-KikoMartinez fight in balance

Carl Frampton's manager Barry McGuigan says he is "not confident" that a fight with European champion Kiko Martinez can be agreed for Belfast in September.

"We are approaching their camp but Martinez has let us down before, so if nothing can be agreed, then Carl will fight another world class opponent.

"He is now in the world's top 10 and this is the end of his apprenticeship.

"Carl is not yet the finished article but he is getting better all the time," said McGuigan.

"We don't want to get ahead of ourselves but we are hoping that a world title fight may be possible at the end of 2013 or early 2014.

"Having said that, we'll take one fight at a time."

The former world featherweight champion rejected suggestions that Frampton had been negative in securing the vacant IBF inter-continental super-bantamweight title with a points victory over Mexican Raul Hirales in Nottingham on Saturday night.

"He had to box negatively to diffuse and frustrate the Mexican, so that he would make mistakes and Carl would be able to capitalise on it - that was the gameplan.

"Carl showed the type of versatility that very few fighters have as he is naturally aggressive but had to box on the retreat.

"In the last six rounds in particular, I thought he was meticulous."

The 25-year-old has won all his 14 fights but brought his Mexican opponent's unbeaten record to an end.