Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Frampton v Santa Cruz: Proud Christine in her man's corner again as champ out to hit the jackpot in Las Vegas

By David Kelly

Christine Frampton hopes to be crying tears of joy again when her husband Carl finishes his battle with big rival Leo Santa Cruz at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas tonight.

Christine revealed that she feared the worst for Carl after 12 tough rounds in New York six months ago, when the Jackal became a two-weight champion, defeating Santa Cruz to lift the World featherweight title.

Carl Frampton's wife Christine
Carl Frampton's wife Christine
Carl Frampton outside the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino
Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz
Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz in their last fight

"I had to have (daughter) Carla with me the whole fight because for some reason the people in New York wouldn't allow her or (infant son) Rossa to be minded backstage, so they had to come out and I had to act as if everything was all right, but I knew it was a hard fight," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"At the end I thought because it was New York he wouldn't get the decision, I was resigned to that, so when they announced him as the winner I just leaned forward and started crying - it was just sheer relief.

"It was a very special moment in New York but it never really dawned on me at the time because, for me, it was another win, another fight - that's his job.

"I think it'll only be when it's all over that we realise how big this has been."

Christine arrived in Vegas late on Thursday night without Carla and Rossa, due to the length of the journey.

Some 4,000 supporters are expected to follow her to Vegas to cheer on her husband, and many more are expected to get up at around 3.30am to watch the fight on Sky Sports.

"Not in a million years when he turned pro did I think it would get like this," Christine admitted.

"Being a full-time boxer is very risky, to put everything into it. Most need to have a job as well.

"Carl has done so well and I'm very proud of him and I admire the way he handles everything so calmly.

"He gets that from his dad Craig and mum Flo, they're very calm - even at ringside - and his amateur coach Billy McKee is the same.

"I don't know what is going on in a fight and I'm trying to look to them to see their reaction, but they don't react - and that's just the way Carl is."

Excitement is continuing to build in the run-up to tonight's crunch bout.

Carl is convinced his July triumph over Mexican Santa Cruz ensures he holds the "psychological edge" ahead of the Las Vegas rematch.

Tonight the 29-year-old Belfast man makes his first defence of the WBA featherweight title he won when inflicting the first defeat of Santa Cruz's career, via a majority decision.

The north Belfast man is now acknowledged as one the world's finest fighters and has an enormous and extremely loyal army of fans.

A summer fight between Frampton and Wales's Lee Selby is planned, so Carl can also succeed where his manager and boxing mentor Barry McGuigan did not, in defending the very same title in Vegas - and bringing it back to his adoring fans in Northern Ireland.

"Going into this fight, I have the psychological edge," Carl said in Vegas.

"This is my second fight at featherweight, so I'm getting more used to the weight. I feel more comfortable overall this time."

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th November 2009 - Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye - Barry Hearn in association with Brian Peters Promotions presents Sky Sports fight night at the Meadowbank Sports Arena, Magerafelt, Northern Ireland. Super-Bantamweight Contest - Carl Frampton v Ignac Kassai.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 6th November 2009 - Picture by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye - Barry Hearn in association with Brian Peters Promotions presents Sky Sports fight night at the Meadowbank Sports Arena, Magerafelt, Northern Ireland. Super-Bantamweight Contest - Carl Frampton v Ignac Kassai.
Pacemaker Press 12/6/10 Carl Frampton on his way to victory against Ian Bailey at the King' Hall Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
©Russell Pritchard / Presseye 18th September 2010 Barry McGuigan Presents Boxing at The Ulster Hall. Carl Frampton v Yuriy Voronin in 8x3 Min Rounds ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
Carl Frampton fights Yuri Voronin in Ulster Hall, Belfast ©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 18th September 2010 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry
Carl Frampton won the Celtic super-bantamweight title at the Ulster Hall on Friday night against Gavin Reid.
Official title fight for the vacant Commonwealth Super Bantamweight belt between Carl Frampton and Mark Quon at the Odyssey arena, Belfast. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.10/9/11 PACEMAKER BELFAST.
Carl Frampton celebrates successful defence of Commonwealth belt against Kris Hughes
Title delight: Carl Frampton proves his class as he clinches the inter-continental crown against Raul Hirales in May 2012
Boxing Odyssey: Carl Frampton's stoppage of Steve Molitor in Belfast has increased his profile
Last time: Carl Frampton and Kiko Martinez during their previous bout at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast in 2013
Carl in action against Jeremy Parodi in October 2013
Carl Frampton demolishes Hugo Cazares in two rounds back in April 2014
Packing a punch: Carl Frampton lands a blow against Kiko Martinez en route to clinching the IBF World super-bantamweight title at the Titanic slipway last September
Carl Frampton (right) against Chris Avalos in February 2015
First to the punch: Frampton lands a blow on Gonzalez jr during the World title fight in El Paso, Texas PRESSEYE
Carl Frampton fighting Scott Quigg. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph