Carl Frampton will carry the hopes of a nation on his shoulders on Saturday night when he enters the ring at the Manchester Arena.
Tigers Bay gladiator Frampton will swap sweat, blood and tears with Scott Quigg as the two pocket battleships scrap it out to get their hands on the IBF and WBA super-bantamweight World titles.
It has been a fight long in the making with both fighters wanting the showdown for the last four years – but finally, after months of discussions and trash talking, the clash was finally made between the warring parties.
It is a fight ‘The Jackal’ will relish and as the clock gets to around 10.30pm on Saturday night most of Northern Ireland will be in tuning in to see ‘our man’ get the job done.
It is a weight of expectation that would reduce most mere mortals to quivering wrecks and looking for the nearest exit door, but Frampton excels when the heat and pressure is on. It is a rare quality.
He also knows he is flying the flag for Northern Ireland, Belfast, Tigers Bay and his family and that drives him on – he thrives on it.
From small beginnings, he has gone from 800 fans at the Ulster Hall to selling 16,000 seats at the Titanic Quarter to cheer him on to his IBF World title victory against Kiko Martinez.
And now he will have 22,000 in the Manchester Arena for his war with Quigg.
But the extra fans in the stadium and the millions watching on television from all over the world will not faze him in the slightest.
Frampton has ice in his veins and when the heat is turned up he simply responds in the only way he knows how – by winning fights.
Quigg, his trainer Joe Gallagher and promoter Eddie Hearn have been turning up the heat with their verbals in an attempt to lure Frampton into a battle with their man.
But Kiko Martinez and Chris Avalos both tried to rattle Frampton in the run-up to their fights and they both ended up battered, bruised and beaten.
The arrogant and brash Avalos even taunted Frampton before the first bell at the Odyssey with the words ‘it’s just you and me now, boy’. And we all know what happened next.
Quigg has tried his best to get under Frampton’s skin without much success.
The Bury fighter has repeatedly brought up a sparring knock-out that Frampton seemingly suffered at the beginning of his professional career in an attempt to give himself confidence before the clash.
In reality, all professional boxers at some stage of their career will be wobbled, hurt or knocked down in sparring – so if this is what Quigg is holding on to he could be in for a long night on Saturday – or a very short one?
Quigg also claims he has ‘taken the control away from Frampton’ in the run-up t0 the fight.
The control of what? Only Scott and his team will know.
To many Quigg may seem super confident, but to many more he seems to be clutching at straws as he starts to realise the size of the task that lies ahead of him on Saturday night.
Sparring incidents, taking away control, mouthing off and looking menacing on TV will all count for nothing when the first bell goes in Manchester.
And that’s when Frampton comes to life...