He moved up in weight, travelled to America, challenged an undefeated three-weight World champion and won a World title in his first fight as a featherweight – Carl Frampton knows what means to be a true champ and has earned the right to pass judgement in a somewhat watered down era of boxing.
Frampton’s victory over Leo Santa Cruz in New York means that the UK can now boast 13 World champions, however ‘The Jackal’ claims that this stat doesn’t ring true.
The Belfast fighter has questioned the legitimacy of some of those UK title holders, suggested some are paper champs and won belts from fighters with inflated records.
Ireland’s second ever two-weight World champ has never been afraid to add fuel to the ‘Sky Hype Job’ fire. and believes it is applicable to some of the current champs. Nevertheless, he does admit that there are some benefits from Sky for boxing admidst all the hype.
“There are some good fighters, some of the Sky guys,” Frampton told Capital FM.
“But there’s a lot of fighters fighting guys with inflated records. It looks good and to the casual fan it’s unbelievable. but the real boxing fans know what it’s really about.
“There’s so many world titles floating around now. You talk about 14 World champions in the UK. I wouldn’t say there are 14 legitimate champions.”
“But I suppose it’s good for boxing in a way: it’s getting a lot of headlines, a lot of coverage in the papers and on local news stations.”
The current list of the 13 UK champions is:
Carl Frampton – WBA featherweight
Tyson Fury – WBA & WBO Heavyweight
Anthony Crolla – WBA Lightweight
Kell Brook – IBF Welterweight
James DeGale – IBF Super Middleweight
Billy Joe Saunders – WBO Middleweight
Terry Flanagan – WBO Lightweight
Lee Selby – IBF Featherweight
Anthony Joshua – IBF heavyweight
Tony Bellew – WBC Cruiserweight
Liam Smith – WBO Light Middleweight
Ricky Burns – WBA Light Welterweight
Lee Haskins – IBF Bantamweight
Also counted, incorrectly, by many to inflate the number of champions is former IBF bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell, who currently holds the WBA ‘regular’ bantamweight trinket. McDonnell is rumoured to be soon facing the actual WBA 118lbs champion, Rau’shee Warren