Herring late arrival in UAE ‘a mistake’

Frampton surprised by champion Herring’s late arrival in Dubai

Carl Frampton says champion Jamel Herring’s decision to arrive in Dubai only a week before his world title fight is “absolutely a mistake”.

US boxer Herring defends his WBO super-featherweight belt on Saturday with Frampton aiming to become Ireland’s first three-weight world champion.

“He should have been out here before me,” said the Northern Irishman, 34, who arrived in Dubai on 16 March.

“It took me over a week to get used to four hours of a time difference.”

The Belfast boxer added: “He’s travelling from a time difference of 11 hours and he’s giving himself a week to get ready for that.”

“I want to win this fight so I got out here early to settle into my surroundings, get used to the heat, get used to the time difference.”

Thirty-five-year-old Herring, who has a five-inch height advantage on Frampton, has spoken before about his difficulties in shedding weight to make the super-featherweight limit.

Costello & Bunce weigh up Frampton’s chances against Herring

‘I don’t struggle to make the weight’ – Frampton

Frampton believes this makes the New York-born fighter’s late arrival in the United Arab Emirates all the more baffling.

“I’m chilled out relaxed now. I’m not in the gym any more because the work has been done,” he said.

“I don’t have to struggle to make weight. He arrived here on Saturday night and I don’t think he has left the gym. I think he might be sleeping in there.”

“He’s having to work a lot harder than me to make the weight. All these things are going to help me on the night.”

Asked about Frampton’s comments, Herring dismissed them as a flawed attempt to gain “some kind of edge”.

“Remember, I’ve been halfway around the world as a US Marine. The travelling is no issue for me,” Herring told BBC Sport Northern Ireland on Tuesday.

“It maybe took me a day to get adjusted. We knew what to expect and even now we’re training late in the day because we know the event is going to take place late in the day.”

Herring added that he is “ahead of schedule in terms of making weight”.

“I have a great nutritionist. She maps out everything and I don’t think that will be an issue”.

Plans for Frampton, right, and Herring, left, were scheduled to meet last summer and then in February

The contest originally looked set to take place last summer only for the arrival of the global pandemic and then was scheduled for London on 27 February but had to be postponed because of a hand injury sustained by Frampton.

Frampton says there are now “zero issues with the hands” and that he has been “sparring away out here and blasting the pads”.

After having previously won super-bantamweight and featherweight world titles, Frampton decided to move up to super-featherweight following his IBF featherweight title defeat by England’s Josh Warrington in December 2018.

Since then, he has fought only twice as he earned relatively low-key wins over American Tyler McCreary and Scotland’s little-known Darren Traynor.

A scheduled bout with Mexican Emmanuel Dominguez in August 2019 in Philadelphia fell through in bizarre fashion after a large concrete ornament in a hotel lobby fell and broke Frampton’s left hand.

However, he says he is in a “good place” going into Saturday’s Dubai contest.

“I’m just a bit more comfortable in fight week and in a better place mentally and physically because I’m not having to kill myself to do the weight.

“The delays definitely suit me better than him. He’s almost two years older than me.

“He’s had to struggle to keep his weight and hold it whereas I haven’t had those issues.”

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