Carl Frampton believes he has fan edge over Josh Warrington


Carl Frampton [26(15)-1(0)] believes he will have the edge in the arena, and indeed across Britain and Ireland, next weekend.

‘The Jackal’ challenges IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington [27(7)-0] at the Manchester Arena on Saturday December 22nd and, while it will be just him in the ring, Frampton feels he definitely has more people in his corner.

Frampton notes how he has a broader appeal than his Leeds opponent for a number of reasons.

Born in Belfast, training out of Manchester, and being a world-renowned fighter with Box Office experience, Frampton is definitely the bigger name in the fight and, he reasons, the more supported.

The bookmaker’s favourite also points at Warrington’s own support which is often typified negatively as ‘a football crowd’ and the Englishman has closely aligned himself to Leeds United FC throughout his career, even winning the world title at Elland Road earlier this year with Lucas Radebe as part of his ringwalk.

Frampton argues that this support, both in general and specifically with regards Leeds United, pigeonholes Warrington and limits his appeal.

A Rangers, Chelsea, and Crusaders fan, Frampton’s club football preferences have never been a large part of his career narrative, with the Ulsterman channel his most vocal support for the Northern Ireland national team.

And thus, while Leeds is further from Manchester Arena, Frampton believes he will have the people on his side, much like his fight with Scott Quigg back in 2015 at the same venue when over 10,000 of ‘The Jackal Army’ invaded the city.

The 31-year-old two-weight champion described how “I train in Manchester now as well and I won’t say it’s going be like a fight in Belfast, but it will not necessarily be like an away fight and I’m used to the arena”

Stating his Leeds theory, Frampton outlined that “the thing is with Leeds in particular, if you’re not from Leeds you won’t support a Leeds fan.”

“So his support will mainly be from Leeds and I can pick up support from obviously back home and around Manchester and other parts of the UK too.”

Warrington agrees with Frampton to a degree but is keen to stress that support counts for little once the punches start coming.

“Yes and no,” Warrington said when this point was put to him.

“Since I beat Lee Selby I’ve won a lot of fans over. A lot have bought into the way I won.

“Obviously the Leeds fans are massive, but that being said not many people like Leeds United and I obviously associate myself with Leeds United.”

“But I think when I beat him I’ll win a lot more fans over. It’s not a popularity contest, it’s a fight at the end of the day, so it doesn’t really matter to me too much.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie