Josh Warrington is armament that he would be a “mug” to write off Carl Frampton ahead of their IBF World title encounter this weekend.
The Leeds fighter makes the first defence of the strap he wrenched from Lee Selby in May, and is for the second fight in a row an underdog with the bookmakers.
But Warrington refused to say Frampton was past his prime - but believes the Belfast fighter’s last significant bout was when he fought Leo Santa Cruz.
Speaking at the final press conference ahead of their bout at the Manchester Arena, Warrington said: “I never said he was past his best.
“But you can’t judge the performances against Nonito Donaire and Luke Jackson the same as the one against Santa Cruz.
“That’s probably when Carl was at the peak of his career. Obviously every fighter has peak years, it’s a long career and it’s a long time to hold that level.
“But me and my team are prepared for the very best Carl Frampton, I’d be a mug if I was to look at him as over the hill or anything like that.”
And Warrington is hoping to take inspiration from his victory at Elland Road in May when he beat Lee Seby for the IBF World title.
“I work hard. That night in May was a very special night and what you gain from that is confidence and momentum.
“What you get from that can take you up another. I’m excited. Carl says he’s in a good place and I have to echo that.”
And promoter Francis Warren can’t pick a winner in the fight between Warrington and Frampton:
“This is one of the best fights boxing can offer at the moment. I cannot pick a winner.
“The best man will win on Saturday and the rewards for that are unifications next year.”
Josh Warrington defends his IBF World Featherweight title against Carl Frampton exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office, Saturday December 22. Watch for just £19.95, for more info visit www.bt.com/sportboxoffice