Carl Frampton can make it big in United States, says McGuigan

Barry McGuigan believes Carl Frampton can make a big impact in the United States
IBF World Super-bantamweight title: Carl Frampton v Alejandro Gonzalez Jr
Date: Saturday, 18 July Venue: Haskins Centre, El Paso Start time: 21:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Ulster FM and MW, and the BBC Sport website

Carl Frampton's manager Barry McGuigan believes the Belfast-born IBF super-bantamweight champion can make a major impact in the United States of America.

Frampton will defend his title for the second time against Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez Jr in El Paso on Saturday.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for Carl and I think he can really make it big in America," said McGuigan.

"Sports journalists are fascinated by him and why he is coming over here. That tells me what his potential is."

Former world featherweight champion McGuigan added: "We had a press conference and 90% of the press wanted to hear about Frampton while only 10% wanted to hear about Julio Cesar Chavez (who is also on Saturday night's bill in Texas).

"My approach has always been that if we couldn't sort the fight with Scott Quigg, then we should immediately go to America."

Undefeated Frampton recently reached agreement with leading American adviser Al Haymon to secure a series of major fights in the US, of which the bout at the Haskins Centre will be the first.

"Al Haymon has helped us get into America and he is the biggest impresario in boxing at the moment," said McGuigan.

Carl Frampton (right) hits Chris Avalos
Frampton is undefeated in 20 professional fights, with 14 knockouts

"He looks after more than 200 fighters and a multitude of world champions, many of them around Carl's weight. That's where we have got to be.

"We want to come back home again in October or November and then back out here again on St Patrick's Day.

"The simple reason we are here is that we are getting network television, terrestrial TV in America and in the United Kingdom."

McGuigan is optimistic that the Northern Irishman can see off his 22-year-old opponent, who has won 22 out of his 25 fights, only one of which has taken place outside Mexico.

But he admits that the atmosphere for Saturday's fight will not compare with that for the 28-year-old's first defence of his crown against Californian Chris Avalos in Belfast on 28 February.

"I don't think it will be 30% of the atmosphere we get in Belfast but no matter where you go in the world you won't get that," added McGuigan.

"The problem is we only have 9,000 seats and we need somewhere bigger. Dublin would be limited to 9,000 too so we are limited as to what we can do.

"If we were to put a fight on outdoors at Windsor Park or Ravenhill, you'd have to keep your fingers crossed for dry weather.

"Fingers crossed, if all goes well on Saturday night, our next fight will have to be in London or somewhere in England."