Carl Frampton has accused Kiko Martinez of trying to avoid their European title clash

Last Updated: 21/01/13 3:33pm

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Carl Frampton: Questioned Kiko Martinez's appetite for battle

Carl Frampton: Questioned Kiko Martinez's appetite for battle

Sky Bet

Carl Frampton insists Kiko Martinez was 'forced' to defend his European title against him.

Martinez twice pulled out of planned fights against Frampton, but the super-bantamweights are set to finally meet on 9 February after the Spaniard agreed to travel to Belfast's Odyssey Arena.

Frampton has questioned Martinez's appetite for battle and believes he would have avoided him if manager Barry McGuigan and promoter Eddie Hearn had not kept calling for the bout to take place.

"I still don't think he fancies it. I think he's got forced into it," said the Belfast man. "Barry and Eddie have been putting him under a lot of pressure.

"He's pulled out twice. He's been forced into this fight. He doesn't want it to happen.

"He's getting well paid for it. I think it's a bit of a payday, but he's taking it serious. He's coming to fight, he's been training hard, but there are definitely doubts there."

Martinez has already enjoyed success on Irish shores as he blasted out Bernard Dunne inside the opening round in Dublin, back in 2007.

Frampton remains respectful of Martinez's punch power and will adopt a cautious approach against his most dangerous foe to date.

"I've got to be very, very careful. He's a big puncher. I think what happened against Bernard Dunne flattered Kiko to be honest a little bit," he said.

"In saying that, it's the most dangerous fight of my career.

"People are saying you will ride out the first four or five rounds and then he falls apart. But I think he stopped Jason Booth in the 10th round, he stopped (Arsen) Martirosyan in the 11th round, so he definitely carries his power throughout the fight. I've got to be careful.

Frampton is still determined to battle English rival Scott Quigg, but he will turn his attention to a world title shot if the much-talked about fight fails to come off.

"I desperately want to fight Scott Quigg. Barry wants it, Eddie Hearn wants it," said Frampton.

"He's been offered a lot of money. They came up with this stuff saying they got offered the fight after they had already signed to fight Munroe, but that's not true.

"He had both contracts at the same time, picked which one he wanted, and he obviously didn't want me. It's a massive fight and I desperately want it. If I beat Kiko Martinez, the only guy I want to fight in Europe is Scott Quigg. No-one else.

"If he doesn't want to fight then we'll push on for world titles and the IBF is vacant at the minute. Jonathan Romero is fighting Alejandro Lopez, so I'll be fighting the winner next after Martinez."

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