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Published: 13:46 | 20/3/19

The Fighter – Carl Frampton

Two-weight world champion Carl Frampton talks about his career to date and hopes for the future and reveals his plans to be back in the ring very soon. eir sport 1, Sun, March 24th 8.30pm

He is Ireland’s most successful male boxer of recent times. He unified the WBA and IBF Super-Bantamweight titles and also held the WBA Super-Featherweight crown, thus becoming only the second Irish boxer after Steve Collins to win world titles in two weight divisions. Belfast-born, he has 24 wins from 26 professional fights (15 by knock-out) and is one few sportsmen who has bridged the divide between the two communities in Northern Ireland where he is equally respected by loyalists and republicans alike.

While it was thought his defeat to Josh Warrington last December might signal the end of his career, Frampton says he is more committed to boxing than ever and plans to be back in the ring sooner rather than later. Speaking to Kevin Byrne for eir sport’s ‘The Fighter’ series, he said he still believes he has what it takes to be a world champion again.

Growing up in the loyalist Tiger’s Bay estate in Belfast, Frampton was a quiet kid. Into a lot of different sports, he was prone to getting pushed around a bit by some of the other youngsters in the area. But that all changed when his mother took him down to the local boxing club at the tender age of seven and he discovered that he could fight. It marked a major turning point in his life – in more ways than one. It helped his self-confidence enormously – he could now look after himself on the street – but it also helped him integrate across both sides of the community, something he remains eternally grateful to the sport for.

Going pro

After winning the Irish flyweight title in 2005 before claiming the national featherweight crown four years later, he turned professional and quickly rose up the ranks. He won the IBF Super-Bantamweight crown in September 2014 when he defeated Spaniard Kiko Martinez, the man who had knocked-out Bernard Dunne in 86 seconds, in a tough fight in Belfast before taking the WBA version with a split decision win over Scott Quigg eighteen months later.

He then moved up to Super-Featherweight and became a two-weight world champion by claiming the WBA title with victory over the previously-unbeaten Mexican Leo Santa-Cruz in New York in July 2016. It marked the pinnacle of his career to date as he narrowly lost a rematch in Las Vegas in January 2017.

Despite that, however, and his subsequent loss to Warrington, Frampton remains as hungry as ever and is keen to land a big fight soon. He remains one of the biggest names in the featherweight division with one of the best fan bases in world boxing which is sure to make him an attractive proposition to prospective promoters.

Who knows, perhaps another bout with Santa Cruz would be a possibility? The best of three……..now that would be good!

Images: Getty

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