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Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Frampton should get back on track in Belfast

Garcia not on same level

Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton exchange blows
1 of 1

BT Sport 1 and BoxNation, from 8.30pm Saturday

It has been a turbulent year for Irish star Carl Frampton, but it seems he has the perfect opponent to enable him to end 2017 on a positive note. 

It was all going so well following victory over the featherweight division's top dog Leo Santa Cruz in the summer of 2016, but he lost the rematch by majority decision in January and with it his world title and undefeated record. 

A comeback was scheduled for July but it turned into a disaster without him even stepping into the ring. First Frampton failed to make the weight, then opponent Andres Gutierrez had a bizarre accident in his hotel bathroom that forced the fight to be cancelled. 

Following that fiasco, Frampton split with his trainer Shane McGuigan and Barry McGuigan's Cyclone Promotions. 

Now trained by Jamie Moore and promoted by Frank Warren, the Jackal will be hoping to put his troubles behind him and he should have few problems overcoming Mexican Horacio Garcia. 

Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez is expected to be at ringside to support his countryman and Golden Boy Promotions stablemate, but Garcia has won just four of his last eight fights and there is little to suggest the 25-1 underdog can cause an upset. 

The best opponent on Garcia's record is unbeaten world title contender JoJo Diaz, but although he took him the distance he lost every round on all three of the judges' scorecards. 

Frampton hasn't had a stoppage in his last four fights, but they were all against world-class opponents. This is his first contest in his Belfast hometown since he stopped Chris Avalos in five rounds in 2015, and his passionate fans can spur him on to finish Garcia.

There are two world-title fights on the bill. Local fighter Jamie Conlan is a big favourite to dethrone IBF flyweight champ Jerwin Ancajas, but it could be tougher than the odds suggest. 

Meanwhile, South African Zolani Tete should get the better of 16-1 underdog Siboniso Gonya for the WBO Bantamweight crown. 

Recommendation
C Frampton in rounds six to ten
1pt 11-8 Betfred, Coral, Ladbrokes


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Garcia has won just four of his last eight fights and there is little to suggest the 25-1 underdog can cause an upset
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