Barry McGuigan is convinced Carl Frampton will fight for a World title in 2013.
Tigers Bay brawler Frampton faces Kiko Martinez at the Odyssey on February 9 for the Spaniard’s European title.
But former World featherweight champion McGuigan believes his young charge will see off Martinez and move on to bigger and better things.
“We believe Carl will be fighting for a World title by the end of 2013. That is what we want and that is what we are aiming for.
“I thought when I signed Carl that he would be a World champion and nothing I have seen since then has changed my mind.
“Carl is ready for a fight of this size and by the end of 2013, he will be fighting for a World title,” he added.
But McGuigan had a word of caution because to get to that shot at a World title, Frampton must see off the teak tough Martinez.
“We want a world title shot, but we are not looking past Martinez. At this moment in time we are totally focused on the challenge Martinez brings to the table.
“It will be the hardest and toughest fight of Carl’s career.
“Martinez is a good boxer, he has a good chin and he has world class punching power, but we believe Carl will have too much for him on the night.
“Carl will have to take a couple of shots from this guy.
“You can’t go walking in the rain and not get hit - but we are sure he will be able to handle Kiko and win the fight.
“I am not going to tell you how we are going to fight against Kiko, but we will have a gameplan and we are confident Carl will get the job done. But we are fully aware of how dangerous this man is,” he added.
Frampton destroyed former World champion Steve Molitor in his last outing - but McGuigan is expecting more from the Spaniard than Molitor offered that evening.
“We did not realise how far down the road Molitor was - but Carl jumped on him that night, bullied him and won the fight. Kiko is a totally different proposition.
“Kiko is a hard man and he will be coming to Belfast to defend his European title and we know Carl will have to on his game to win this fight.
“Carl was super against Molitor and he did what he had to do that night. We expect him to beat Kiko, but we are under no illusion how tough it will be,” said McGuigan.
And what about a clash with British and WBA Interim champion Scott Quigg?
“I am not talking about or discussing Quigg. They have been offered the fight and they have turned it down. They don’t seem to want it - so end of story. We are going down a different path now and good luck to them.
“We are totally focused on Martinez and after that we will want to move on to bigger and better fights,” he added.
Tickets for February 9 show can be purchased at www.odysseyarena.com