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Espinoza hails Frampton – “Nobody else did what he did”

Showtime TV chief Steve Espinoza believes that Carl Frampton deserves the honour of Fighter of the Year for 2016.

The Belfast featherweight has been named BBBoC Fighter of the Year, and Espinoza feels he deserves the worldwide honour as well.

In 2016 Frampton unified 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.

Speaking at the Frampton-Santa Cruz press conference in Los Angeles yesterday, Espinoza outlined how “for me, Carl Frampton is the 2016 fighter of the year. Nobody else did what he did.”

“Carl Frampton unified the titles at super-bantamweight and then went straight up to win a second world title against a three-weight world champion.”

When the idea was put to Frampton himself, ‘The Jackal described how “that’s huge, you want to tick off boxes. My main objective was to become a world champion when I turned professional and I did that in 2014 – and everything else is a bonus.”

“To be potentially in the running for Fighter of the Year is a huge thing for me. I think 2016 is a year I’ll never forget, but 2017 could be even better.

Other leading contenders for the honour include Andre Ward, Roman Gonzalez, Vasyl Lomachenko, and Manny Pacquiao.

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