Jamel Herring said a win over Carl Frampton “would be a career-defining milestone” ahead of their WBO world super-featherweight title fight in Dubai on Saturday.
Herring and Frampton both looked in immaculate physical condition at the official weigh at Leva Hotel and Suites, Mazaya Centre, on Friday.
Amierican Herring has won 22 of his 24 bouts, 10 of which have been by knockout, while Frampton has 28 wins, 16 by knockout. Both fighters have each lost twice.
Frampton is five inches shorter than his former US Marine opponent and is possibly giving away the same amount in reach, but he weighed in half-a-pound heavier at 129.9lbs – just under the 130lb super-featherweight limit.
“I was able to stay focused and I know this is a big fight and a win over Frampton would be a career-defining milestone,” Herring said ahead of the bout at Caesars Palace on Saturday.
“I know a win will obviously push my career up, and I’m just excited to finally get in there with another good champion that I can topple, hopefully.”
Northern Irishman Frampton is aiming to prove to himself and others that he can win a world title without the McGuigans by his side.
The Belfast fighter unified at super-bantamweight and claimed the WBA featherweight crown under the tutelage of manager Barry McGuigan and his son and trainer Shane before an acrimonious end to their eight-year partnership in August 2017.
has since been guided by former British, Commonwealth and European light-middleweight champion Jamie Moore and assistant Nigel Travis, but global honours have so far proved elusive under their stewardship.
However, the 34-year-old can become Ireland's first three-weight world champion when he takes on Herring in a bout that has been rearranged on multiple occasions.
"I need to prove it to myself but I need to prove it to other people," Frampton told the PA news agency. "I believe Jamie Moore and Nigel Travis are fantastic coaches and I want to reward them with winning a world title, so I fully intend on doing that with this fight against Jamel Herring. If I win the fight, I think it would go down as my best win."
In one of the main undercard, representing the UAE is Fahad Al Bloushi who comes up against Indian Suraj, who goes by a single name, in a four-round super featherweight bout.
Al Bloushi, 25, who represented the UAE at the Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018, is making his fifth professional appearance and is hoping to improve his 3-1 (win/loss) record.
Gallery: Frampton's up and downs in the ring
“I got into boxing at 19 and it has been everything for me,” the Emirati born to a Filipino mother, said after weighing in at 130lbs.
“I use to play a lot of basketball and spent a lot of time in the gym. It was very funny I got into boxing. I was watching the movie Rocky. I started boxing for fitness and as soon as I started punching the bag, it clicked.
“I fell in love with punching and get to know boxing better. And then three months in, I decided this was the sport for me.”
Al Bloushi turned into a full time boxing two years ago said boxing has grown in Dubai in the last five years and such events can only take it further in the popularity list in the UAE.
Another interesting bout in the undercard is between Donnie Nietes of the Philippines and Colombian Pablo Carrillo in the WBO International super flyweight title.
Nietes, 38, is a popular fighter amongst the large Filipino expatriate community in the UAE.
However, the former four-division world champion is returning to the ring for the first time in more than two years.
“I have trained long and hard and am ready for this fight,” he said after weighing in at 112.7lbs.
“The pandemic has been very hard for people around the world but for me it has given me more time to train and I have made best use of it preparing for this fight.”
Nietes has a record of 42-1-5 with 23 knockouts. He last fought on 31 December 2018 when took a split decision over Kazuto Ioka for the vacant WBO super flyweight belt.
Carrillo, 32, is 26-7-1, with 16 Kos but lost to Ioka by unanimous decision in 2014. He was also stopped by Francis Rodriguez Jr in 2018 while Nietes beat Rodriguez by unanimous decision in 2015.