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The higher power being called on to help Jackal

By David Kelly

Carl Frampton's cross-community appeal has never been in doubt, and now his manager Barry McGuigan has revealed that a group of nuns have been praying for the two-weight World Champion throughout his career.

McGuigan says he spent time with the nuns during his own glittering career when he rose to become World Featherweight Champion, and has continued to meet with them, at times through some dark periods such as when he lost his brother Dermot to suicide and when his daughter Danika battled cancer.

"Because Carl means so much to me, I talk to them about Carl, they know all about Carl," said McGuigan. "I have faith in God, it's important for me that it is part of my life. I'm never going to be a Bible basher and stick it down people's throats, it's just who I am and I need that because I've had a lot of tribulations in my life.

"I've been going to the nuns for 35 years. They used to be in the Cliftonville Road but their numbers have dwindled and there's only two left - one is 87 and the other 84 and they're now based in Carlow. I go and have a chat with them and ask them how their life is and we talk about Carl - they've been praying for him for a long time."

Frampton said: "It's incredible to think that nuns are praying for a wee lad from Tigers Bay."

McGuigan is impressed with how Frampton is handling the high expectations of him. "Success breeds success but it also puts unbelievable pressure on you. This is the biggest stage in world boxing, Las Vegas, and there's a lot of pressure but he loves pressure - he thrives on it.

"It's great to see the amount of support coming into Vegas to support him and people have made big sacrifices to get here. We even heard about a guy who was ditched by his fiancee because he said he was coming - hopefully they can patch that up!"

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