Josh Warrington believes he would be a “mug” to write off Carl Frampton ahead of their IBF featherweight title showdown this weekend.
Warrington 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.
Yet the Leeds fighter – while pointedly refusing to say Frampton was past his prime – said his foe’s last significant bout was a little under two years ago 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.”