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Barry McGuigan: Carl Frampton is on course to become Ireland’s greatest ever boxer

IRISH boxing boast an illustrious list of legends. The fight game is the one sport Ireland excels at on the World stage on a consistent basis.

The likes of John L Sullivan, Steve Collins, Barry McGuigan and Wayne McCullough are legends of the sport not just in Ireland, but the World over. Katie Taylor, Paddy Barnes, John Joe Nevin, Michael Carruth, Kenneth Egan and a host more brought Olympic glory to Ireland and proved themselves among the greatest amateur fighters of their era.

Frampton, a former stand out amateur, joined an illustrious group of World champions becoming the countries 20th World title holder when he out pointed Kiko Martinez to collect the IBF super bantamweight title on Saturday night.

The win should ensure ‘The Jackal’ Irish boxing legend status and what ever he achieves from here on in he can always proudly state he was once Champion of the World.

However, when 27 year old Carl Frampton eventually hangs up the gloves, being a former World champion won’t be the only boxing boast the Belfast fight favourite will be armed with, according to his mentor Barry McGuigan.

The former world featherweight champion claims the Cyclone Promotions star is twice the fighter he was and will not only go on to eclipse the success of the Clones Cyclone, but will become the greatest the fighting Irish ever produced.

“Carl is becoming the greatest boxer in Irish history,” said a fighter who some would argue  holds that accolade.

 “This young man is a better boxer than I ever was,” he added

“After the fight Sergio Martinez (former World middleweight champion) said that Carl is one of the most exciting fighters in the world today.”

“I said a long time ago that this guy was going to be the world champion and people laughed at me. We are thrilled, the night couldn’t have been better,

“You can see the fighter that he is. We believe that we are just at the bottom of the ladder now. You have to win a world title before you get real traction in your career. We had to do it the hard way. We paid a lot of money to get Kiko here and took a lot of chances.

“He was just so calm in there, Carl was so composed. He was confident and he put his shots together so well. Carl boxed really well, he punched hard. He had him down and he had him in trouble three or four times, but could not finish him off.

“Kiko is very, very hard to hit. His face is almost parallel with the floor, so you end up hitting him on the forehead and you can’t hit him on the chin. The one time Carl hit him on the chin, he went down and he hurt him badly a few more times.

“But Kiko is a very courageous guy. He would give any super-bantamweight, featherweight and super-featherweight in the world problems.

“We have respect for him and he is an incredible fighter but he took a beating and his face was a mess afterwards.

“But what a performance from Carl tonight, that was one of the best fights I have ever seen.”


Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years