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By David Mohan

A FIRST knockout win since February 2015 is in Carl Frampton’s sights ahead of next Saturday’s showdown against Luke Jackson at Windsor Park.

“The Jackal’ has boxed six times since his fifth-round win over Chris Avalos at the SSE Arena in an IBF super-bantamweight title defence, with all of those going the distance.

He has picked up WBA titles at super-bantamweight and featherweight in that time as-well-as the interim WBO featherweight strap he defends next week, but an early night has eluded him and the North Belfast man says the chatter coming from Australian, Jackson has started to get under his skin and he will be looking to close the show early.

“He has annoyed me a little bit, but not enough to take my mind off the game and be overly aggressive,” warned Frampton.

“He has annoyed me enough to wanna flatten him and put him out cold, properly.

“I haven’t knocked anybody out in a long time, but Luke Jackson is a guy who is going to get knocked out.”

Jackson, 33, has also teased Frampton over his amateur career claiming his experience in the London 2012 Olympics and other major championships betters the Belfast man’s achievements in the unpaid code.

“He keeps talking about his amateur career. Who cares what he did as an amateur? He isn’t Vasyl Lomachenko,” retorted the 31 year-old Tigers Bay man who will fulfill an ambition by boxing at an expected sold-out Windsor Park next weekend.

“Let’s not forget he is based in Australia. If Australia sent a ten-man team to box an international against Ireland they would get beat 10-0, and that’s a fact.

“His amateur career wasn’t even that good when you look at it.

“The reason Australia can send almost a full team to the Olympics is because they box Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

“It is a lot easier qualifying process compared to what Ireland and GB have to go through for the Olympics.

“This is professional boxing and it’s almost a different sport. He will see on the night.”

Jackson has not been content to play the unassuming underdog in the build-up to his own chance to force his way into the big time.

The 33 year-old Tasmanian was at it again this week, suggesting that two-weight champion and 2016 Fighter of the Year, Frampton is showing signs of decline.

“Across the board he is phenomenal, but I don’t think he is as good as he once was,” explained Jackson.

“In the first fight against Leo Santa Cruz he boxed out of his skin and deserved to win, but he hasn’t looked the same since.

“Carl is a very good fighter who does everything good, but I don’t honestly think he does anything great.”

Jackson’s comments suggesting the Frampton is struggling has riled the Belfast man, but he isn’t asking for forgiveness.

“We are going to punch each other in the head. I don’t really care if what I say upsets him.

“I respect him as a fighter, I respect him as a man but I am coming to beat him, not coming over to be friends.

“I don’t know if he wants me to call him a Hall of Fame fighter or the greatest, but I don’t think he is.

“He is very beatable and I think I can beat him, simple as that.”

Also on the BT Sport televised bill next weekend, Paddy Barnes will attempt to become a world champion in just his sixth professional bout when he challenges Cristofer Rosales for the Nicaraguan’s WBC flyweight title.

Lineal heavyweight king Tyson Fury faces a step up when he tackles two-time world title challenger Francesco Pianeta ahead of a potential challenge to WBC champion, Deontay Wilder later in the year.

The bill also includes a light-heavyweight clash between North Belfast’s Steven Ward and Dubliner, Steve Collins Jr.
Also in action is WBO European middleweight champion, Luke Keeler, Conrad Cummings, KO king Lewis Crocker, Marco McCullough, Sean McComb and Steven Donnelly.

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