Carl Frampton backs Mick Conlan to carry the Belfast torch


Carl Frampton [25(14)-1(0)] believes Michael Conlan could be the man to fill a ‘Jackal’ sized hole in Belfast when he eventually calls it a day.

The two-weight world champion has been Belfast and indeed Ireland’s leading light over the last five years selling out venues and winning titles at home and abroad.

The featherweight, who defeated Nonito Donaire in impressive fashion on Saturday night, still has plenty of ring life left in him. Indeed, he brings one of the biggest sporting occasions the famous fight city has ever seen as he heads to Windsor in August.

It is another chance for a host of Irish talent to impress in a city that reigning WBA bantamweight champ Ryan Burnett also calls home.

However, despite the likes of Jamie Conlan, Paddy Barnes, and Tyrone McKenna among others all playing important roles, it’s Michael Conlan [6(5)-0] who Frampton believes will ultimately ensure Belfast doesn’t suffer in his retirement like Dublin did when Bernard Dunne hung up his gloves.

The younger of the two Conlan brothers, who is also being built in America by Top Rank, tops his first bill in Belfast on June 30th and Frampton suggests it could be the first of many.

The 26-year-old Falls Road featherweight, who has become good friends with Frampton recently, is set for a maiden title fight at the SSE Odyssey Arena on this date.

Tiger’s Bay boxer Frampton, who will headline a historic card at Windsor Park in August, believes it’s a good start and the 31-year-old knows he will be passing the torch in the coming years.

“I am delighted for Michael,” he said of Conlan’s forthcoming Belfast show – which is dependent on the Olympic bronze medalist coming through his eight-rounder with Ibon Larrinaga on the Linares-Lomachenko undercard on May 12th unscathed.

“He is a friend of mine and a great boxer, a fantastic boxer. You see what I am doing with the crowds at the minute, Michael Conlan is going to come in behind me and take over at some point.”

“He is a brilliant fighter with a big fan base, and I have no doubt he will be a multi-time world champion. He is a fantastic fighter.”

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