Belfast Telegraph

Titanic battle as Jackal is to fight for title in Belfast

By Frank Brownlow

It's not even built yet – but two months from now it could become one of Ulster's top sports venues. Belfast boxer Carl 'The Jackal' Frampton will challenge for the world super bantamweight title against champion Kiko Martinez on September 6 at Titanic Slipways at a special purpose-built temporary outdoor arena with a capacity of 16,000.

The venue has already been dubbed 'The Jackal's Den'.

With Frampton's popularity sky high, the fight is sure to be a sell-out – meaning it will attract Ulster's biggest ever boxing crowd.

An outdoor arena could of course present weather issues – what the event's promoter, and boxing legend, Barry McGuigan wouldn't give for our current sun-kissed spell.

The time of year and the exposed and often windy location down on Belfast Lough means it is very possible the weather could turn nasty.

The big fight takes place just a week ahead of BBC Northern Ireland's annual Proms in the Park concert – another event for which organisers will have fingers crossed for good weather – at the same venue.

The BBC usually has 11 days to prepare the site but has settled on seven days to aid Frampton's world title bid.

McGuigan's greatest night also came in an outdoor arena, QPR's Loftus Road football stadium.

That was almost 30 years ago when the 'Clones Cyclone' beat the great Eusebio Pedroza to lift the world featherweight belt.

He said wind or rain will not halt what is one of the most ambitious sporting events ever staged in Northern Ireland.

"Basically the ring area will be covered but the seating – much of which will be tiered – will be uncovered. The weather will not be an issue," said a Cyclone Promotions spokesman last night. Carl Frampton has a tremendous following and his fans will be there no matter what the weather."

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