Carl Frampton is still on track to be a legend
Former World champion Dave McAuley has come out gunning in defence of Carl Frampton, who has bizarrely received some harsh, unjust criticism following his unanimous points victory over Alejandro Gonzalez in El Paso, Texas at the weekend - writes David Kelly.
Frampton touched the canvas twice in the Don Haskins Centre but then proceeded to outbox his gutsy Mexican challenger for the best part of the 12 rounds and McAuley believes it says a lot more about those who have taken to Twitter and Facebook to issue their barbs than it does about the IBF world super-bantamweight champion.
McAuley said: "The people who are criticising Carl are just jealous of him, it's as simple as that. They're jealous of the career he has and of the support he has - and if it was them boxing you wouldn't hear a word. It's just jealously - and why on earth would you want to criticise the guy? He's a credit to Northern Ireland.
"Yes, it wasn't his best performance by some way but everyone has bad days in boxing and usually they're in the gym but unfortunately for Carl his off day came in the ring.
"But even though he wasn't at his best I still had him winning nine of the 12 rounds, only losing two and sharing one - and that's the sign of a great champion, when you're not at your best and yet you win clearly," he said.
"He did make hard work of the fight, I would have expected Carl to have knocked the guy out by five or six rounds and probably if the fight had been back in the Odyssey Arena that's what would have happened because Gonzalez is not in the same class.
"But what can happen, apart from Carl not boxing to his best, is that when a guy gets his chance he fights a couple of levels above himself and Gonzalez certainly fought the best fight of his career."
One thing McAuley does want to see is the end of any weight-making issues for the 28-year-old champion who admitted he had "taken off a lot of weight" ahead of the tough battle with Gonzalez.
"Clearly the weight was a problem for him, as Carl said himself, and that is something that they need to sort out right away. He just wasn't himself from the start, he wasn't as sharp and everything wasn't flowing the way we know it can," added McAuley.
"The weight will not be hard to sort out, he just has to make sure that he does it right the next time - he's a natural super-bantamweight and I'd like to see him have at least a few more fights at super-bantam before he goes to featherweight as he has talked about.
"I know fighting away from home you are out of your comfort zone, with the environment and the climate and even the canvas which Carl didn't like.
"Personally I'd like to see American television coming to Belfast to show him and I hope his next fight is back in Belfast.
"When I went to Bilbao in Spain things happened that wouldn't have happened in Belfast - I wouldn't have lost my world title for a start on a terrible decision.
"When he gets back to fighting in Belfast you will see the real Carl Frampton and whoever he fights next is in big trouble because he'll be out to make a point and that includes Scott Quigg.
"I know that Quigg had a good win over Kiko Martinez but that hasn't changed my opinion that when Carl faces Quigg he will destroy him, he's a far better boxer."