2016 couldn’t have gone much better for Belfast’s Carl Frampton [23(14)-0].
The Cyclone Promotions puncher caused a storm worldwide and established himself as a pound-for-pound top 10 star.
A grudge was settled with Scott Quigg on a massive pay-per-view card as Frampton became Ireland’s first ever unified champion in front of 20,000 fight fans.
‘The Jackal’ then cracked America and became only Ireland’s second ever two weight world champion with a July win over the previously undefeated three-weight world champ Leo Santa Cruz. To make that victory even sweeter, it came in a Fight of the Year contender.
A host of Fighter of the Year nominations and wins ensured a perfecting ending to a perfect year. The world champion is happy to reflect with a smile, but is more keen to look forward and believes 2017 could be bigger and better.
Indeed, he kicks it off in style with a Leo Santa Cruz rematch in Las Vegas on January 28th and, not only is he confident he will keep his titles, he is sure he will be involved in another eye-catching crowd-pleasing clash.
“You want to check off boxes. My main objective was to become a world champion. I’ve done that. Everything else is a bonus,” said the Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year ahead of the rematch at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“2016 was a year I’ll never forget and 2017 has the potential to be even better. I’m looking forward to kicking it off with a great fight. This is not for publicity and I’m not a spoofer — this is going to be a good fight and there’s no doubt.”