Belfast Telegraph

Carl Frampton: 'We're so proud of him, he's a great ambassador for us'

By Maureen Coleman

The loyalist enclave of Tigers Bay in north Belfast boasts its fair share of famous sons - James Galway, Kenneth Branagh and now Carl Frampton.

At the Midland Boxing Club off upper North Queen Street, a mural of a young Frampton adorns a gable wall. For a young generation of children growing up here, he's their latest hero.

Pride in Frampton is palpable among the residents of Tigers Bay. From teenagers who have been inspired to take up boxing to pensioners who grew up with his grandmother, everyone is behind him in his world title bid.

At Sam's barber shop, customer Alan Hollywood (49) said he would be at the Titanic Quarter to cheer their boy on. He also said Frampton represented the new face of Northern Ireland and that like his manager, Barry McGuigan, he had brought both sides of the community together.

"It's always nice to see someone from a neglected area like Tigers Bay do well," he said. "It's refreshing that Carl has never allowed religion come into it. He's a great ambassador for Tigers Bay, Belfast and Northern Ireland."

Sixty-nine-year-old cleaner Amelia Cox said Frampton's supporters didn't care about his religious affiliation or where he came from.

"If he wins, everyone across the city will be proud of him," she said. "It'll be fantastic for both sides of the community.

At Mclean bookies Colin Trimble, a 51-year-old window cleaner, placed a few bets on Frampton to win. "There's a great sense of pride in him in this area," he said. "He's put Tigers Bay on the map in a positive light. And he never forgets where he comes from. He's very grounded."

Tyre fitter, Gary Cowan (49) said he was looking forward to going to the fight. "It doesn't matter where people are from, Poleglass, New Lodge, Tigers Bay, they all want him to win," he said.

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