Boxer cuts sparring over brain injury fears

London - Northern Irish boxer Carl Frampton says he has cut his sparring regime by more than half to reduce his chances of developing brain damage.

The 30-year-old former two-weight world champion faces Mexico's Horacio Garcia in Belfast on November 18.

He usually has 220 sparring sessions in the build-up to his fights, but has trimmed that number to 100 to avoid "problems" in retirement.

"I've got two kids and a missus. I don't want problems after boxing. You need to be careful," Frampton said in comments published on the BBC website on Thursday.

"You have heavy gloves and a head-guard on, but if you talk to any other boxer about the amount of rounds they spar, there is nobody getting close.

"Most do maybe 100 or 120 for a 12-round fight and I was doing 220. It was a lot.

"You're just taking punishment every day, getting hit all the time. That's something we're going to cut back on. I'll train hard, but the sparring will be cut in half."

Frampton last fought in January when he lost his WBA featherweight title to Leo Santa Cruz in Las Vegas. He was previously a world champion at super-bantamweight.