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Carl Frampton recalls being ‘battered’ by Katie Taylor in sparring

Carl Frampton was Ireland’s first ever unified champ in the multi-belt era, joining up the IBF and WBA straps at super bantamweight in 2016.

The Belfast fighter was then emulated by Ryan Burnett and Katie Taylor – and the Wicklow woman would go one better at the weekend.

Taylor [13(6)-0] added Rose Volante’s WBO lightweight crown to the WBA and IBF belts already in her possession with a dominant win in Philadelphia, stopping the Brazilian in the ninth round of their unification.

Such is the close-knit nature of Irish boxing, all out unified champs are connected.

Taylor has said in the past that Burnett “punched the head off her” when they sparred as amateurs but Frampton, who trained alongside Burnett under Gerry Storey, has admitted to being ‘battered’ by the Bray woman in some of their own sparring sessions over a decade ago.

The only-slightly-tongue-in-check tidbit came on the latest episode of Frampton’s TKO podcast with JOE.

The Tiger’s Bay boxer, who also lost in the amateurs to upcoming unification combatant TJ Doheny, crossed over with Taylor in High Performance Unit in the late 2000s.

In the past, the likes of Paddy Barnes, Tyrone McCullagh, Eric Donovan, Stevie McKenna, and Deco Geraghty – who once broke Taylor’s nose – have spoken of their tough sessions with the 18-time major international gold medallist.

Now Frampton has given an insight and described how “Katie was super fast and I felt like, when I was sparring her, she was probably a better boxer than me, if I’m being honest.”

“But my strength kind of made her tired and I used to lie on her and push her around and stuff.”

Taylor was a 60kg boxer throughout her amateur career while Frampton won his first Irish Elite title at 51kg before later claiming another, as well as an EU silver, at 57kg.

When asked to give details on what made the now-32-year-old so good, Frampton said Taylor was “so fast, so, so fast, it’s really difficult.”

“She’s very good. I don’t want to say too much because she battered me a couple of times. I tried my best!”

Watch TKO Round 6 in full below:


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: