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Frampton delighted to be back among friends and fans

Everything’s better in Belfast for Carl Frampton [23(14)-1(0)].

35 months on from his last fight in his home city, and in his first bout since undergoing some major changes, the Tiger’s Bay featherweight headlines the ‘Frampton Reborn’ bill at the SSE Odyssey Arena on November 18th.

Don’t be surprised if Frampton wears Dorothy-style red boots in the fight against Horacio Garcia on Saturday night because, for ‘The Jackal,’ there’s no place like home.

Since stopping Chris Avalos at the same venue back in February 2015, Frampton has had four fights on the road – overcoming a scare in Texas against Alejandro Gonzalez Jr, unifying in Manchester against Scott Quigg, moving up and dethroning Leo Santa Cruz in New York, before losing a rematch in Las Vegas.

In this time, the so-called ‘Jackal Army’ have cultivated a reputation for themselves as some of the best fans in the sport, travelling in their thousands to support Frampton.

Now though Frampton wants to pay them back, noting how “they’ve been good enough to follow me around the world, which I’m very grateful for.”

“Obviously it’s expensive to do that and there’s people who simply can’t afford to do that. THis fight is about getting back home to the people who weren’t able to travel.”

“My support is fanatical. I know for a fact that if people can afford to get to Vegas, or New York, or even Manchester, it’s an away trip, they’ll go.”

“It’s important for me to fighting at home, kind of giving something back to the fans, I want to box in Belfast, I want to box here as much as possible.”

Aside from fighting in front of his fans – Belfast also offers the chance for Frampton to fight alongside familiar faces.

Indeed, folloing his departure from Cyclone and subsequent link-up with Frank Warren, Frampton is back sharing cards with some old friends.

The 30 year old outlined how “it’s brilliant. I’ve fought on so many big bills, and I’ve fought all over the world, with great fighters, on undercards even. It’s great that I can finally have my own friends on an undercard.”

“Paddy [Barnes], who was a groomsman at my wedding and I was one at his, Jamie Conlan, me and him have known each other and been friends since the amateurs days, then you’ve big Steven Ward, Tommy McCarthy, this kid Lewis Crocker, I’m hoping I didn’t leave any Belfast boys out!”

“It’s a great bill and for me to be topping it is an honour considering there’s a Belfast lad fighting for a World title. I think that Jamie Conlan deserves to be fighting for this title, but for me to be heading the bill, it’s a great honour.”

Frampton was speaking to mark his link up with bookmaker 32Red

Watch his interview with John Evans in full below:


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