Carl Frampton has been named as the 2016 Fighter of the Year by ESPN.
A sensational year for the Belfast man saw him unify his IBF super bantamweight title with Scott Quigg’s WBA belt in Manchester before moving up to featherweight and defeating WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz in New York.
ESPN boxing chief Dan Rafael concurred, and outlined how “no other fighter in 2016 scored such an impressive combination of victories in high-profile bouts against elite opponents — in multiple divisions, on the road — with one of them a contender for fight of the year.”
Frampton [23(14)-0] was picked as the world’s best for the past year ahead of Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko. The fighters placed 3rd to 7th were Terrence Crawford, Manny Pacquiao, Joe Smith Jr, Andrzej Fonfara, and Roman Gonzalez respectively.
It’s another big award for ‘The Jackal,’ who was earlier named British Boxing Board of Control Fighter of the Year.
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show