Carl Frampton has warned Kiko Martinez there will be 16,000 fans “baying for his blood” when the duo go head-to-head for the IBF super-bantamweight title at The Titanic Quarter in Belfast on September 6.
Frampton stopped the Spaniard in the ninth round in February last year but Martinez has since won four fights including a portion of the world title with an impressive victory over Jhonatan Romero.
If, as expected, the rematch is sold out it will be Northern Ireland’s largest ever boxing crowd and Frampton believes his vociferous home support will be too much for Martinez to handle.
“I’m a live fighter, I’m hungry, I’m fighting in my own back yard in front of 16,000 people who are going to be baying for his blood and he’s not going to be ready for that,” Frampton said.
“If you look at Kiko’s last performances since losing to me he’s won a world title against a weak champion, he’s boxed two over-the-hill guys - and looked good against them - but this is a different story.
Frampton continued: “I know I’m ready. I know from what I’ve been doing in sparring and to my opponents - I’m sparring light welterweight guys in the gym and throwing them around.
“I just feel everything has fallen into place. I’m 27 now, I’m in the prime of my life and the next few years are going to be the best you’re going to see from me.”
Frampton, who has won all of his 18 fights since turning professional in 2009, knocked Hugo Fidel Cazares out in the second round in April and stopped Jeremy Pardoi in the sixth round last October.
His bout with Martinez at the Odyssey Arena last year, which drew 9,000 spectators, was, however, a tight contest until Frampton unleashed his decisive blow.
“People say it was close - I don’t think it was close - you’d be generous to give him two rounds,” Frampton said.
“We’re both aggressive fighters, we’re both compact and like to come forward but Kiko can only come forward.
“He’s had more than 30 fights in his career and in every single one he’s always on the front foot whereas I can go backwards, forwards, wherever, so that can make the difference.
“Both of us have exciting styles - the first fight was a great fight until the knock-out and I think it’ll be more of the same this time round.”
Frampton had been lining up a battle with WBC super-bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz but despite initially showing interest, the Mexican is instead heading for a unification fight against Frampton’s domestic rival and WBA title holder Scott Quigg.
“Santa Cruz is a good fighter but he’s been puffed up by his promoters,” Frampton said.
“He throws a lot of shots, that’s probably his best asset but he’s very easy to hit and I punch very, very hard. I think he knows that.
“Kiko is a much tougher fight than Leo Santa Cruz. You need to beat these guys to be the best - Kiko’s accepted the challenge and I’m ready to take that belt off him.”
As well as his victory over Romero, Martinez has knocked out Jeffrey Mathebula and Hozumi Hasegawa in his last two bouts.
“I think it’s going to be an historic fight,” Martinez added.
“We have both improved since we fought last year but one of the main differences this time is the fight will be in the ring rather than outside it.
“I am eager for revenge.”