20 May 2010 – By Steve Wellings
Barry McGuigans super-bantamweight protg Carl Frampton will realise a professional dream on Saturday June 11 when he appears in Belfasts Kings Hall on the Paul McCloskey European title undercard.
Ive dreamed of fighting in the Kings Hall since I was a kid and for me being a Belfast boy it is going to be a great night, stated the exciting North Belfast prospect. Its going to bring out the best in me so I cant wait to get it on.
23-year-old Frampton is down to box English livewire Ian Bailey and is looking improve on his 5-0 (3 KOs) record as a professional. Bailey holds a 5-4 slate but is no journeyman and represents a solid step-up for the hometown fighter.
Three years older at 26, Bailey, who boxes out of Slough, snapped the unbeaten record of Steve Barnes and has pushed prospects Kris Hughes and Ryan Walsh to points decisions.
Carl also recognises the constant comparisons drawn between himself and manager McGuigan.
Me and Barry boxed around the same weight, so theres a definite connection there, he explained.
Barry had so many great nights in the Kings Hall and I want to be winning titles there and defending them in Belfast. The plan is to go for a Celtic or Irish title before moving on for a crack at the British in 2011 and hopefully that can be in the Kings Hall.
Veteran coach Gerry Storey, who handles Frampton in his Holy Family base, was also on hand to offer his words of advice.
Im absolutely delighted that all the boys are back in action at the Kings Hall, commented Storey, and as far as Im concerned, with regards to Carl, of all the fighters Ive looked after he is one of the best.
Hes going to be the next star of Belfast, bringing the crowd back into the Kings Hall and this is just the way to school him, by putting on in a supporting role on a big card.
I have no doubt that this guy will go all the way to the top, opined Gerry.