Carl Frampton [23(14)-0] can become boxing’s next ‘peoples champion’ according to experienced boxing promoter Richard Schaefer.
While the Belfast fighter is one of a host of World champions, he has the potential to become a standout fan-favourite and man of the people suggests the Swiss former banker, who also believes Frampton’s sensational fan base can make Las Vegas their fighting home
Schaefer, who was CEO of Golden Boy before setting up his own promotional company Ringstar Sports, believes ‘The Jackal Army’ could not only invade Sin City, but could make it their home over the next few years.
The promoter came to Belfast with Leo Santa Cruz and, not long after he bigged up the city’s fight fans, he claimed Frampton could have a Ricky Hatton-like effect on Las Vegas.
“Carl Frampton has a tremendous opportunity to go and make Las Vegas his home and follow in Ricky Hatton’s footsteps,” Schaefer said in Belfast.
“There are a lot of world champions, but there are very few people’s champions. Ricky was a people’s champion and I can see that in Carl Frampton. He has that ‘it’ that connects with the people,” he added before praising Irish fight fans.
“The fans here know boxing, they support boxing and they are very passionate. It’s always a special treat to come here to Ireland or the UK. Whenever I come here I can feel the passion that your fans bring to the sport and I really appreciate that. I don’t think that there are any better fans than you guys.”
For Frampton to make Las Vegas a ‘home’ he has to first win his rematch with Leo Santa Cruz on January 28th at the MGM Grand and Schaefer doesn’t think that is a formality.
“I think it’s going to be a more even playing field this time around.”
“Leo was clearly not at his best [in the first fight]. That is not an excuse, he just had a lot of distractions with his father being diagnosed with cancer and he didn’t know if he would be in the corner until the end, missing most of the training camp… all these distractions – and Carl Frampton had a great fight.”