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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 28 March, 2020
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McGuigan: Frampton is going to be the best Irish fighter ever

New IBF super-bantam champ “can go as far as he wants to go,” according to his manager and mentor.

The judges scored Saturday's Belfast brawl 119-108, 119-108, 118-111 all in favour of Frampton.
The judges scored Saturday's Belfast brawl 119-108, 119-108, 118-111 all in favour of Frampton.
Image: Presseye/Kelvin Boyes/INPHO

CARL FRAMPTON HAS the talent to become a multi-weight world champion and build a legacy as the best Irish boxer ever.

Manager and mentor Barry McGuigan showered the Jackal with the plaudits after he clinched the IBF super-bantamweight crown in decisive fashion on Saturday night.

McGuigan said: “I said a long time ago that this kid was going to be the best ever Irish fighter – that’s how good he is.”

Faced with the challenge of the big-hitting Kiko Martinez, Frampton won a unanimous points decision on the judges’ cards: 119-108, 119-108, 118-111.

A hand injury may delay his first title defence but blockbuster fights against the division’s other champions Leo Santa Cruz and Guillermo Rigondeaux are very much on the horizon.

“It was the first goal, to become a world champion, so I’ve reached that,” a delighted Frampton beamed.

Now I’ve got to start making new goals – unifying divisions, defending the title.

When that is done, McGuigan is confident that his young protégé has the physique and the ability to move up through the divisions.

“He’s enormous for a super-bantamweight [so] it takes a bit of time to get him down to the weight. We could go to featherweight and super-featherweight.

He knocks out lightweights in the gym — he doesn’t just knock them down, he knocks them out.

“I’m telling you, he can move through the divisions. There are some really good fights out there for sure.”

Frampton is Northern Ireland’s first world champion since Wayne McCullough lost his bantamweight title in 1997.

McGuigan, who won the WBA featherweight title himself in 1985, laughed when asked who Frampton has to overtake to be recognised as Ireland’s greatest boxer.

I’m not suggesting for one second it was me but if this kid gets the right fights at the right time in the right place, he can go as far as he wants to go.

“He’s 27. Chronologically he’s 27 but physiologically he’s much younger. He doesn’t have many miles on the clock.

“He probably fought a bit too much tonight but he’s got plenty of miles to go yet.”

Carl Frampton may have broken his hand in the middle of Saturday’s world title win

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Niall Kelly

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